You change your clothes everyday; why not your attitude?
My mom never counted to 3.
When she said, “go wash the dishes,” you got up and washed the dishes. When she asked you to go finish your homework, you did. The same with cleaning your room, taking out the trash, turning off the TV, etc…
Maybe that sounds a little over the top and a little demanding, but the truth is that my parents were very loving, good people, that raised us to obey immediately, and to never be disrespectful to them or to others. If we didn’t, we knew ahead of time what the consequences would be, and they were faithful to follow through with them. They also had other goals in mind; like for us to have self control, and to be able to learn how to deal with our inner struggles in a healthy manner. They also believed that if they respected our thoughts and feelings, that they could expect the same of us towards them. And you know what? It worked quite well.
In a perfect world this would work 100% of the time. But what would happen when we didn’t do what they wanted, or we came home from school in a foul mood, we were fighting, etc., and our bad attitudes started to stink up our home’s atmosphere? That is the moment that they would step in and say “Go to your room and don’t come out until you get your attitude straight.” At those words, we would begrudgingly trudge up to our rooms, (sulking the whole way of course), and quietly close our bedroom doors (slamming was a no-no).
Back then, we didn’t have electronics, phones or computers to keep our attention while we were sequestered away for a few minutes of solitary confinement- all that we had were the thoughts rumbling around in our brains and the frustrations brewing in our hearts. What they had proactively taught us, though, was to take that time to pray and ask God to help us with our attitudes, and also ask Him what He would want us to do about the current situation. Thankfully, we listened and took advantage of that and would eventually come out of our rooms, sit down with them and share what we felt that God had told us and wanted us to do. At last, our attitudes were better, our perspectives were changed, and we were learning the invaluable lesson of learning to hear God’s voice and direction in those difficult times.
Believe it or not but I still take their advice and send myself to my room to get my attitude straight. It happens on days when something has made me toasty mad– and if I don’t go to my room I’ll probably say something I’ll regret. Or when I just can’t seem to get a handle on my negative attitude and I see all the bitterness and pain spilling out on the person standing closest to me. While in personal solitary, I ask God to change my heart and give me a new perspective; that He would help me have His eyes and heart about that situation or person, and then I usually end up praying Psalm 10:14: “May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing to you, Oh Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer.”
Life is like that isn’t it? Things tend to get dirty. Clothes get dirty, so we change them and put them in the wash. The house gets dirty, the dishes, the floor, etc…and we have to have a cleaning day to get things sparkling clean. The same can be done with a stinky attitude. You have the opportunity to allow Father God to wash you with the cleansing water of His word, and then eventually watch it change with His grace and His goodness flowing in, around and through you. He is such a good Daddy. He never leaves you alone to sit splashing around in your own little mud puddle. He’s always pursuing you, always challenging you to rise up higher, and to become more and more like Him each and every, single, day.
Know this: YOU are SO LOVED!