So how is your attitude?
Don’t answer too quickly, I’ve learned that our understanding of our own attitudes is much like embezzling. If an embezzler gets caught and you ask him how much he took, the number he honestly believes is about half of what it was.
It’s much the same with our attitudes, however bad we may believe our own attitude is, you should probably double it. We give ourselves a little too much slack.
Philippians chapter 2 says that we should have the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus. Okay, now I’m just meddling, right? Seriously, who can have an attitude like?
It’s a pretty high standard, but it is what it is. So, where do we go from here?
As I read through the Gospels, I often see how Jesus handled Himself, circumstances and other people. I try to take note of His attitude and behaviors. It’s how we find out what it’s like to have the attitude of Christ Jesus.
So, during my sabbatical I have been doing an inductive and slow study of the Gospel of Mark. I have discovered something. You guessed it, in the words of Hank Williams Junior, I need an attitude adjustment.
Although the attitude adjustments I’ve been offered throughout the book are too numerous to write in this article, let me share one simple observation from Mark chapter 14 verse 50.
Here is the setting: Jesus has spent the night praying in the garden of Gethsemane, who knows His mockery of a trial and crucifixion on the way. An army has come to arrest Him and Judas has just betrayed Him with a kiss.
Jesus notes that they could have arrested Him any day in the temple, but they waited until that night alone in the dark to bring an entire squadron after Him before He says…
“But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” Mark 14:50
This may not sound like an overly impressive statement to you, but check out the attitude in this simple sentence.
But– this is a contradictory conjunction. It takes the direction of thought and changes it, and extends the conversation. If the sentence began with the word ‘and,’ it would be in agreement with everything prior to the statement. It does not. So, what does Jesus mean with that simple conjunction ‘but’? I believe He is saying, “Despite the hypocrisy of your actions, disregarding the sinfulness of your thoughts and speech, and with no regard to the injustice about to be done to me, I will allow this because obedience to my Heavenly Father is far more precious to Me than justice in this moment.” This is the attitude we are supposed to have.
Let – although it is a verb, it is a passive verb. Jesus is basically saying that He is willing to let go of His authority and control and submit to the will of God. He is willingly giving up on a desired outcome that would benefit Him, and yield Himself to God’s will, God’s word and the circumstances before Him if it pleases the Father. In other words, He’s choosing to not fight, let go of control and allow God to do what needs to be done in His life. This is the attitude we are supposed to have.
Be fulfilled– since we know that Jesus knew what was coming, and we know that what was ahead of Him was harder than anything you or I may ever face, this is quite a statement. In this statement Jesus is putting the priority on the plan, the plan God had. He is abandoning His desire for self-preservation, He is not bargaining for something different, He is simply saying that whatever God wants is what He wants to be fulfilled in His life no matter the cost. This is the attitude we are supposed to have.
So, let me ask you again, how’s your attitude? In just this simple sentence we see that Jesus’ attitude is a hard one to imitate.
The world is unfair but I will be obedient and faithful even if others seem to thrive in their injustice and sinfulness
I have fought for myself for years, but today I choose to let You control every decision and every direction. I choose to rest in submission to You.
I have made my daily endeavor to see my plan succeed, but my heart has changed and may Your plan and Your will be fulfilled in my life.
This is the attitude (or at least part of it) of Christ Jesus.
So, how is your attitude?