In our previous Wisdom Note, we continued the series called The Cycles and Seasons of Life, and specifically, Choose Friends Wisely. This week we continue with the value of attitude. If you miss any of our Wisdom Notes please go to https://wisdom-trek.com/blog/ to read past newsletters.
Regardless of your own religious or intellectual inclinations, it is difficult to believe that humans somehow came about by random chance and circumstances. For all of us, what we believe about the origin of life, and particularly humans, is based purely on faith. Scientific proof requires observation and testing. No one is alive to verify what really happened in the ages past. Recorded human history is only from the past few thousand years.
For me, it is more logical to have faith in a divine creator as opposed to random chance and circumstances. I am personally convinced that the entire universe, including the earth and everything living on it, was created by God. Humans are a special creation since we are created as God’s image-bearer. Our lives are to project God’s image to humankind and all of creation. We are described in Genesis 1:26-27, “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.’ So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Based on this belief, you were created to grow in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God and His precepts. In light of your eternal purpose and existence, even if you live beyond 100, your life is just a speck in time. As it says in James 4:14, “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”
Your life on earth is but a mere stepping stone within your eternal existence. How your earthly trek finishes is based on the choices and decisions that you make each day. The impact of those choices will remain throughout eternity.
The more that I study, read, ponder, and speculate about people, their deeds, and their destiny, I become more deeply convinced that it is by God’s design that our natural destiny is to grow, to succeed, to prosper, and to find happiness while here on earth. True happiness is the joy that we can only experience when we accept and follow God’s provisions for us through His Son Jesus. It is then we will be able to experience God’s purpose based on what Jesus told us in John 10:10, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
In most of the world today, opportunity abounds, and it is within your reach to find within your own life a personal realization of the very best of all that exists, which very well may include personal wealth. Contrary to the teaching of some religious circles, wealth is not bad; poverty is bad. Poverty, in most situations, is self-inflicted and represses individuals or groups of individuals who have chosen not to use their God-given talents and abilities to grow. They choose, rather, to allow those who have discovered and used their talents to take care of them.
I realize in the Beatitudes it states that God blesses those who are truly poor if they recognize their need for Him. The problem that appears to be most prevalent today with those who are poor is they are poor because of unwise financial decisions or lack of motivation. When Jesus recited the Beatitudes, it was a time when many of his listeners were slaves or indentured servants. They had a limited opportunity to advance themselves. That is not the case in most of the world today. I realize there are specific situations where being in poverty may be out of a person’s control, but to remain poor, especially in western cultures is one of choice. Even in the face of difficulty, even severe difficulty, a person must make a total commitment to their cause, calling, or occupation in order to rectify their poverty. This situation is sad because many never even try to advance their lot in life through effort.
Imagine if George Washington decided not to try during the Revolutionary War because it looked bad across the Delaware River. Imagine Abraham Lincoln giving up because he was embarrassed as a soldier, failed as a businessman, or was soundly defeated at the polls by his peers. Imagine if George Washington Carver, born into slavery, had remained a slave in his mind instead of becoming one of the foremost crop researchers and scientists of all time. Imagine John Kennedy deciding not to go to the moon—to make America first, both in our own eyes as well as in the eyes of the rest of the world. I could go on with hundreds of people who overcame severe difficulties and went on to make a huge impact on the world. Imagine, if you will, the world without the contributions of these, and other great people who overcame adversity with talent, desire, and total determination to leave behind the world slightly better than they found it.
If I have failed to make my point, let it be known that God, did not intend for you to fail or wallow in poverty, self-pity, self-martyrdom, or mediocrity in any form. Such is not the grand design for you. God made you as His image bearer to represent Him. You are blessed with all those raw materials necessary for progress, such as imagination, ideas, inspiration, and undeveloped intellectual capacity…and that capacity is without limitation. The only limitation placed on your abilities is your inability to easily recognize your unlimited nature.
It does take an effort to become aware of your staggering and limitless abilities. It takes effort to become enthusiastic over your life purpose, a cause, or an occupation. It takes effort to continue when your results—as well as your friends—tell you to give up trying. It takes effort to feel right about everything that happens, the joys as well as the sorrows of life. And it also takes effort to learn to love yourself above all others, especially when you are so consciously aware of your failures, doubts, and tragedies. Your capacity to love others is dependent on your capacity to love yourself. The Apostle Paul quoted Jesus in Galatians 5:14 telling us, “For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
It does not, however, take effort to fail. It requires little else than a slowly deteriorating attitude about your present, your future, and about yourself. It is ironic that one of the few things in this life over which you have total control is your own attitude, and yet most of us live our entire life behaving as though we have no control whatsoever. By your attitude, you can decide to read or not to read. By your attitude, you can decide to try or give up. By your attitude, you blame yourself for your failure, or you foolishly blame others. Your attitude determines whether you love or hate, tell the truth or lie, take action or procrastinate, advance or recede, and by your own attitude you and you alone actually decide whether to succeed or fail.
How incredibly unique that a God, who would create the complex and immense universe, would create the human race and give to those humans the free choice that would permit them to select their own achievement or their own destruction.
This strange but all-knowing God gave to us a delicately balanced sphere called earth, and on it, he placed the intelligent human who would either develop it or destroy it. How terribly fascinating that God would leave both projects—earth as well as humans—unfinished! Across the rivers and streams, God built no bridges; He left the pictures unpainted, the songs unsung, the books unwritten, and space unexplored. For the accomplishment of those things, God created the unfinished human who, within his heart and mind, has the capacity to do all these things and more, depending upon his own choice. Attitude determines choice, and choice determines results. All that we are and all that we can become, for the most part, has indeed been left to us.
At this very moment in time, as you read these words, your attitude has determined what you are. Your enthusiasms, intensity, faith in yourself, patience with yourself and others, and childish excitement about your boundless future is a result of that single word—attitude. On the seventh day, the work of God was finished, and He rested from all his creative work. The work of creating your better future has just begun. For as long as you continue to draw breath, you have the chance to finish that work, and in so doing, complete the work in and for the earth and for yourself that God has left for you to accomplish.
We have come to the end of The Value of Attitude trail. We have much to consider and ponder We will continue this trail in our next Wisdom Journal, as we learn The Constant, Predictable, Pattern of Change within the Cycles and Seasons of Life, so don’t miss it. Encourage your friends and family to join us on our 5-day a week podcast: Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
As the world struggles to get beyond the pandemic and every world leader must balance physical health with economic health, let us pray for the leaders throughout the world. That God will give them wisdom, insight, discernment, and understanding. Let us pray also that these leaders turn to God for direction.