When Your Attitude Stinks

How do you feel when you have a bad attitude? Thankfully, bad attitudes don't define us. Jesus still chooses the imperfect to fulfill His perfect plan.

When Your Attitude Stinks

April 30, 2020

Your attitude is like the aroma of your heart. If your attitude stinks, it means your heart’s not right. – Alex Kendrick

Recently, I found myself struggling against a bad attitude. After months of praying over a certain situation, I still had no clear answer from the Lord. Frustration seeped into my soul and a stinky, lousy attitude began to show its ugly side.

I hate it when a bad attitude invades my spirit. Not only does it render me grumpy, I begin to feel guilty and frustrated with myself. How can I allow a bad attitude into my heart when I know Jesus only wants what is best for me?

In the gospel of Luke, we find a familiar person who struggled with a bad attitude: the Apostle Peter. 

After a long, fruitless night of fishing, Peter and his partners began to clean their nets next to the Lake of Gennesaret. When Jesus saw them, He climbed into Peter’s boat and asked him to push out from the shore. Using the water’s acoustic properties, He began to teach the people. 

When Jesus finished speaking, He turned to Peter and asked him to put his nets down into deep water in order to catch some fish. 

At this moment, I begin to see a bad attitude brewing in the heart of Peter:

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” (Luke 5:5 NIV)

I can’t help but think Peter struggled here. After all, he and his partners had vast experience in fishing. Jesus never worked as a fisherman. Before becoming a Teacher, He trained as a carpenter. To further exacerbate the situation, Peter and his partners had fished all night, in that very spot, but had caught nothing. 

But Peter also knew Jesus as the Messiah (John 1:40-42). Calling him “Master”, Peter respectfully obeyed, even though he clearly doubted the wisdom of the advice.

Despite Peter’s doubts and brewing bad attitude, Jesus abundantly blessed his obedience:

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. (Luke 5:6-7 NIV)

Blessings never seem more undeserved than when they fall on a stinky attitude. I imagine Peter felt this same way:

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. (Luke 5:8-10a NIV)

At times I’ve reacted the same way. I struggle to understand why the Lord would bless me when my heart raged with doubt and frustration. Like Peter, I’ve wanted to pull away from the Lord.

But Jesus didn’t go away. Instead, He did the inexplicable. He gave Peter a calling:

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:10b-11 NIV)

Jesus knew Peter’s doubts and character flaws. But He called him anyway. Because of Jesus, Peter fulfilled his calling and became instrumental in spreading the gospel.

Fortunately, bad attitudes do not define us. At least not in Jesus’ eyes. Beyond blessings, Jesus grants us the amazing honor of sharing His good news with others. 

The Lord chooses the imperfect to carry out His perfect plan. 

I am painfully aware of my imperfect heart and sinful nature. I have no idea why the Lord would choose me for any part of His perfect plan. But I am so grateful He does. Gratitude tends to chase away bad attitudes.

Wherever your path takes you this week, I pray you, too, will experience His blessings and feel His calling on your imperfect life.

When Your Attitude Stinks

April 30, 2020

How do you feel when you have a bad attitude? Thankfully, bad attitudes don't define us. Jesus still chooses the imperfect to fulfill His perfect plan.

Your attitude is like the aroma of your heart. If your attitude stinks, it means your heart’s not right. – Alex Kendrick

Recently, I found myself struggling against a bad attitude. After months of praying over a certain situation, I still had no clear answer from the Lord. Frustration seeped into my soul and a stinky, lousy attitude began to show its ugly side.

I hate it when a bad attitude invades my spirit. Not only does it render me grumpy, I begin to feel guilty and frustrated with myself. How can I allow a bad attitude into my heart when I know Jesus only wants what is best for me?

In the gospel of Luke, we find a familiar person who struggled with a bad attitude: the Apostle Peter. 

After a long, fruitless night of fishing, Peter and his partners began to clean their nets next to the Lake of Gennesaret. When Jesus saw them, He climbed into Peter’s boat and asked him to push out from the shore. Using the water’s acoustic properties, He began to teach the people. 

When Jesus finished speaking, He turned to Peter and asked him to put his nets down into deep water in order to catch some fish. 

At this moment, I begin to see a bad attitude brewing in the heart of Peter:

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” (Luke 5:5 NIV)

I can’t help but think Peter struggled here. After all, he and his partners had vast experience in fishing. Jesus never worked as a fisherman. Before becoming a Teacher, He trained as a carpenter. To further exacerbate the situation, Peter and his partners had fished all night, in that very spot, but had caught nothing. 

But Peter also knew Jesus as the Messiah (John 1:40-42). Calling him “Master”, Peter respectfully obeyed, even though he clearly doubted the wisdom of the advice.

Despite Peter’s doubts and brewing bad attitude, Jesus abundantly blessed his obedience:

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. (Luke 5:6-7 NIV)

Blessings never seem more undeserved than when they fall on a stinky attitude. I imagine Peter felt this same way:

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. (Luke 5:8-10a NIV)

At times I’ve reacted the same way. I struggle to understand why the Lord would bless me when my heart raged with doubt and frustration. Like Peter, I’ve wanted to pull away from the Lord.

But Jesus didn’t go away. Instead, He did the inexplicable. He gave Peter a calling:

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:10b-11 NIV)

Jesus knew Peter’s doubts and character flaws. But He called him anyway. Because of Jesus, Peter fulfilled his calling and became instrumental in spreading the gospel.

Fortunately, bad attitudes do not define us. At least not in Jesus’ eyes. Beyond blessings, Jesus grants us the amazing honor of sharing His good news with others. 

The Lord chooses the imperfect to carry out His perfect plan. 

I am painfully aware of my imperfect heart and sinful nature. I have no idea why the Lord would choose me for any part of His perfect plan. But I am so grateful He does. Gratitude tends to chase away bad attitudes.

Wherever your path takes you this week, I pray you, too, will experience His blessings and feel His calling on your imperfect life.

4 Comments

  1. Charla on May 4, 2020 at 1:15 PM

    So true, Shirley. Peter gets a pretty bad rap most times – much like Thomas – but I see shades of myself in him for sure. I think about how I might have reacted to Peter if I were standing in Jesus’ shoes. Let’s just say Peter would have had the show to himself. I am so glad for the mercy of Christ to deal with stinkers like us!

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on May 7, 2020 at 9:54 PM

      I agree Charla! I am so grateful for His grace-especially when I’m gripped with a stinky attitude.🙂

  2. Mysty on May 26, 2020 at 4:54 AM

    Thank you Shirley and praise God! I am thankful for that keen awareness of a bad attitude slipping in at the most sensitive moments….. and mourn it regularly! It is how, I know that “I know”…… I need Him every single day.
    Also, I shared your bible study link in my Facebook Bible Study group. They are always looking for a good study!

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on May 28, 2020 at 10:58 AM

      Thank you Mysty! I hate it when my attitude stinks-but I am always so grateful for His unfailing grace. Thank you for sharing with your Bible Study Group. I appreciate the encouragement.

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