– John Maxwell
King Solomon wisely wrote about mankind that “as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7a). In other words, what we think, we are! What we think about the most is what we are the most, not what others think. This means we can control, to some extent, what our attitudes will be. We can live in a state of contentment or choose to be discontented. God doesn’t force us to have a certain attitude, but we are responsible for what we think and how we act. An attitude of gratitude is best, and it’s best to continue to choose an attitude of gratitude.
When a child is told by his or her parents they won’t amount to anything, this often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Tragically, I work with prisoners who were told this as children; and they lived up (or down) to that estimation of their parents. We can either live up to or down to the expectations our parents have of us. However, we can choose to be useful to God, as God is no respecter of persons. “God shows no partiality” (Romans 2:11). Neither should we show partiality to some over others. God can use anyone who has breath in them and use them for His glory, no matter what they’ve been told.
Love is so much more than feelings. We often say “I love the fall” or “I love steak.” However, the true definition of love is not so much feelings or expressed by words. Love is best revealed by our actions. Love is a verb; it’s what you do. We can choose to love in action, just as Christ lived His life (John 3:16). Love is best expressed in giving people what they don’t deserve, not what we think they deserve. That’s what God did for us: dying for us while still ungodly, wicked sinners who were His natural enemies (Romans 5:6-10). So choose an attitude of love because we’re not helpless victims of our circumstances.
Every member of the body of Christ, the church, has been empowered by God’s Spirit with certain gifts and abilities. But like a gun, which has power, it’s useless until it’s removed from the holster and fired. Gifts can do nothing for anyone unless they are used. There is not one member who’s been called and saved by God who doesn’t have something to contribute. There are no “giftless” Christians, only Christians who don’t use their gifts.
As John Maxwell said, “We choose what attitudes we have right now. And it’s a continuing choice.” If we choose to have an attitude of gratitude, if we choose to live up to what God thinks of us and not what others think of us, if we choose to love by action, and if we choose to serve in love, we become what we think we are–and what God thinks we are.