Bad attitudes are like ugly stains

Published 4:56 pm Friday, August 4, 2017

When I buy a car I usually do so with the intention of keeping it for quite awhile.  And since traveling is an essential part of my work, it does not take long for me to put a lot of miles on my vehicles. 

Since my cars are getting rather old and have rolled up and down a lot of roadway—both paved and unpaved—it is important that I check under the hood frequently to make sure that the fluid levels are where they should be.  One day I decided to check the oil in one of my old Buicks.  I had just gotten home from work and would be leaving again shortly to go to church, so I still had on my white dress shirt, but I did not think about that being a problem since I was only going to do a routine check of the engine.  After I pulled out the dipstick to see how the oil level was, somehow in the process a drop of rather well used motor oil found its way to an obvious place on the sleeve of my white Sunday shirt.  It was not a big blob–merely a tiny drop–yet even a small speck of dark oil on a white shirt spells disaster for what was once a fresh and nice looking dress shirt.  Unless the spot is able to be removed, the garment is flawed and lacks the attractiveness it had before being contaminated.

There are a lot of things that find their way into our lives that corrupt us and prevent us from being the sparkling examples for Christ that He has called us to be.  They have a way of slyly slipping into our hearts unnoticed, much like that drop of oil contaminated my shirt.  I did not see the drop of oil being deposited there, but I sure saw its contrasting appearance once it had stained the white material it landed on.  In like manner, the consequences of allowing ungodly ways—even those that we might consider as little wrongs—can distract from the many good traits that are in our lives. 

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One particular area of concern is that of attitude; a bad attitude is as much of a blemish on our lives as the drop of oil was on my white shirt.  While describing the impact of attitudes, one writer had this to say:  “Our attitude can have more influence than our past, our education, money, circumstances, appearance, skills, failures, successes or how others treat us.”  That makes attitude a powerful and prominent force that must be monitored carefully.  As Proverbs 4:23 so wisely states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (New International Version).  If the heart is not well guarded by abiding by the truth of God’s Word, it becomes too easy for bad attitudes to emerge and become entrenched in our lives.  Choosing to think the right kinds of thoughts serves as a strong guard for our hearts and as a source for building good and positive attitudes in our lives.  Philippians 4:8 provides this guidance:  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Bad attitudes are indeed like ugly stains—they can blemish what was once attractive.  What kind of attitude does your life display?