We’ve all heard the expression about how our attitude determines our altitude. It’s a good one, for sure, but I feel like we’ve heard it so many times that we allow it to pass us by without considering the true meaning behind the words. Let’s try seeing it from a biblical perspective.
Though there are myriad examples, we are going to look at the life of Paul. Paul suffered many trials, but he embraced them all. In fact, he rejoiced in them. He rejoiced because he understood that all he was going through was for the glory of God. Every ounce of pain he endured, his time in prison, you name it – Paul saw it as a chance to further his mission and spread the gospel.
In Philippians 1: 12-14, Paul tells us, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”
Speak the word without fear. That might go on my top ten list of favorite things said in the Holy Bible.
Paul goes on to explain that some people, of course, spread the gospel with only their own ambition in mind. However, those who share the Word with sincerity and love in their hearts will be rewarded with deliverance and a “supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” In other words, the more love you spread, the more that is returned to you – but it must be sincere.
Paul had a mission, and even while bound and chained, he worked to fulfill that mission. Having a commitment to a cause and the determination to work on it everyday is what made Paul successful. His attitude allowed him to rise above his situation. In your own life, when you become down about circumstances, illness, financial stress, a difficult boss, etc., and allow them to keep you from doing what needs to be done, you may find yourself having a series of bad days. Everything seems to go wrong and suddenly you seem to be at the mercy of others, wondering why the bad stuff always happens to you.
We must remember that we are the ones in control of how we respond to outside factors, trials and tribulations. When we push through them (attitude), we are able to rise (altitude) above and continue with our individual mission.
More verse for your personal studies:
Philippians 4:8-9 : “Finally, brethren whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
(This is Paul reminding us to replace worry with prayer and to think in earnest about the positive things.)
Proverbs 17:22 : “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”
Hebrews 13: 5-6:
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” so we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”