I am in the process of learning a lesson from the LORD. It isn't an easy lesson because it deals with a major area of my life. Attitude!!!
For the last few weeks I have been doing a verse by verse study of Colossians 3. I have been tremendously blessed by all of the truth that I am finding in this chapter. It was one that I memorized years ago and I shared another blessing that I got from it in one of my other posts. However, it wasn't until last week, when I was studying verses 12-15 that a mega truth was showed to me.
It was 34 years ago that I accepted Christ as my Saviour and began to grow as a christian. I attended a good church however, they very much stressed that to be a good christian you had to do this and you had to do that. I lived on a guilt trip for many, many years. Then I went to another good church that said it made no difference what you did, but it mattered who you are. Well, that really confused me. Did that mean that I could basically do whatever I wanted and it would be okay? Who was I suppose to be? And how could I be that if I didn't do something to become that way? So, I just muddled along doing what I thought the Bible wanted me to do, and not doing what I shouldn't, and then not doing what I should, and doing what I shouldn't. It was so hard to do the right thing. (And it still is!)
So, last week when the LORD gave me a tremendous blessing of Truth, I was so happy...and so sad. Happy to understand, yet sad to realize what I need to do because it is so hard for me to do that which is the right thing to do when I don't always want to do it.
Col. 3:12-15, list some of the things that we are to "put on". "Put on" means to clothe yourself. (Just a side note! Since I have lost 35 pounds it is much more joyful to clothe myself.) Anyway, back to God's Word....We are to clothe ourselves with kindness, meekness, humbleness of mind to name just a few. At first I thought these were just good deeds, but when the Holy Spirit said, "Take a closer look." I realized that these are all attitudes. They are all things that we are to put on within our heart and mind. We are to have the right attitudes!
Anyone can do a good deed, but do they do it with an attitude of kindness? Many people do acts of "charity", but do they have an attitude of charity? Some can put up with others for a long time, but are they longsuffering or are they just putting up?
I know that there have been many times in my life when I did the "right thing" outwardly, but in my heart I had a rebellious attitude or was full of pride or felt slighted. I finally understand that if I have the proper attitude then the proper behavior will follow. It needs to start in the heart and mind. I need to "put on" the right attitudes before I can do the right deeds in the right way and for the right reason.