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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Friday, August 6, 2010

BAD ATTITUDES AND POOR EXCUSES

I don't know about you, but I've noticed a great change in people's attitudes in the past thirty years. When I graduated from high school in 1980, America was still a great place to live and raise children. Today I want to shield my daughter from society because people have become careless, selfish, and disrespectful. People are now doing the opposite of what they should be doing and they're proud of it. The values that made America great are dissolving. People have developed bad attitudes and they offer silly excuses for their obnoxious behavior.

Bad attitude # 1
I'm here to be served.
In today's culture, we measure greatness by our position in society, and the position of servant is not given high esteem. Think about how waitresses are looked down on by the general public. "She's just a waitress." I'm sure you've heard that one. What about a housekeeper? Does she get any respect? "All she does is clean. She can't be very bright." The people we look up to aren't in service positions. We admire those who have people serving them. No one admires the servers. If we want to be somebody in this twisted world, our goal is to be served.

This attitude is the exact opposite of what Jesus teaches. He tells us that if we want to be somebody, then we need to develop a servant's heart. "Whoever desires to be great among you shall be your servant." Mark 10:43 Jesus measured greatness in terms of service. Your income, your title, and your material posessions, mean nothing to God. He didn't design us to climb the ladder of success and show off our status. God designed us for service, not self-centeredness. Our unwillingness to serve and our desire to be served has made us a nation of self-seekers who feel entitled to have whatever we want without regard for how it affects others. That kind of attitude doesn't contribute to society, it destroys it.

Bad attitude # 2
It's not my fault. When I was a kid, if someone fell on an icy sidewalk he took his lumps and hobbled home. If someone spilled hot coffee in her lap and got burned, she blamed herself for being careless. Today you can actually make money from such mishaps. People no longer take responsibility for their actions. And attorneys are all too happy to convince us that it's not our fault and we deserve compensation. We're actually encouraged to blame others for our own stupidity. Carelessness is rewarded and personal responsibility is excused. The goal has become, "Let's see who we can blame for this and how much we can get out of them."

This attitude is not what the bible teaches. "...put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another and forgiving one another. If anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you so you also must do." Colossians 3:12-13. The bible teaches forgiveness not revenge. Blaming others for our hurts is not forgiveness. The entire book of Proverbs teaches how we are responsible for ourselves and others. If everyone lived according to the proverbs, we'd have Heaven on earth. But when people stop taking responsibility for their actions, they put a great burden on others. Our society is stressed to the max by people who blame others for their problems and then expect compensation.

Bad attitude #3
Let someone else do it. We can be grateful that Jesus didn't take this attitude. He wasn't lazy. He wasn't a coward. He got the job done. Few people have that kind of resolve today. We look for ways to get out of any kind of work or discomfort. We want others to take care of us and we feel entitled to that care. We want good leaders to run our country but we don't bother to register and vote. If you aren't a registered voter and you don't vote, then you are part of the problem. And if you have children, shame on you. Basically you are saying that you don't care enough about your childrens' future to endure the hassle of voting. How sad.

The book of Proverbs has a lot of advice for those who want to sit on their hands while others toil. "The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting. But diligence is man's precious possession." Proverbs 12:27 We can't enjoy the fruits of our labor unless we get off our duffs and do something. Perhaps if all the Christians who didn't vote would have voted, our last election would have had a different outcome. When you let someone else do it, you have to live with the result of your laziness, whether it means going hungry or watching your government leaders sink America. We need diligent men and women who don't look around when something needs to be done. The diligent doers are the backbone of any society.

Bad attitude #4
It's none of my business. People don't want to get involved in the lives of others. What other people do is none of their business, so they remain silent and do nothing when they witness an error or an injustice. This attitude is not what the Bible teaches. According to God's word, we all have a responsibility to one another. (Gal. 6:1-3) In other words, we are to encourage and help people to get back on track when they fall into sin. And if we ourselves are headed down the wrong path, then people we know should speak up and warn us.

Here's an example of what can happen when we take on the attitude "It's none of my business" and we fail to guide or warn someone: A woman was married for a short time when her husband informed her that he was a homosexual. He immediately left her to be with his lover. After her divorce, several of her friends came to her and said they knew he was gay. They knew it before she married him. When she asked why they didn't warn her, they said, "We didn't think it was any of our business."

We are responsible for other people's business, but not in a gossipy way. We are responsible for revealing the truth. We are responsible for exposing sin. And we are responsible for helping others bear the burdens of sin. We should help them to recover and to get back on track. A society of people who don't look out for each other is a society without strength. Part of what makes us human is our caring for one another. Otherwise, we may as well live alone in caves like animals.

Bad attitude #5
It's all about me. This sentence could serve as the motto for today's world. We're so wrapped up in our own lives that we don't even notice the needs of others. As long as our own needs are met, we don't consider anyone else. A recent example of the "all about me" attitude showed itself during a summer vacation at the beach. We were trying to get some sleep in our hotel room while a group of young people played loud music, talked loudly, laughed heartily, slammed doors and walked back and forth outside our room. When we finally asked them kindly to be quiet, they offered up the excuse that they had locked themselves out of one of their rooms... as if that excused their complete disregard for those who might be trying to sleep. (Another example of the It's not my fault generation).

The bible teaches that our lives should be marked by a love for God and a love and concern for others. We are not to be obsessed with ourselves. We are not to be self-centered. "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." Phillipians 2:3-4 If everyone lived that way, would we have any of the problems we face?

A society is only as good as the character of its people. When our character deteriorates, the problems in society worsen. Our world today is corrupt because we have turned away from the word of God. Every problem in society is a direct result of ignoring God's word. The more we push God out of our lives the worse it will get. I see a difference in just thirty years time. Talk to someone older and they will tell you the same and give even better examples.

There was a time when the bible was taught in every classroom and prayer was welcomed everywhere. Do you really think it's a coincidence that the crime rate was also much lower, people felt safer, lawsuits were fewer, our government leaders had more integrity, people displayed a greater respect for each other at home, at work, while driving, and overall life was less stressful and people were kinder and happier. If you can't see the difference in America since God and prayer was pushed out of it, then you don't want to see it, and you might be one of those people with a bad attitude and a pile of poor excuses.

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