A New Attitude Affects Everything
February 10, 2020
…be made new in the attitude of your minds… Ephesians 4:23 NIV
Paul was so convinced of the importance of a right attitude that he mentioned it in nearly every letter he wrote to his friends in the churches. To his friends in Ephesus he said, “Be made new in the attitude of your minds.” He begins his letter by talking about the wonder of their salvation and the spiritual blessings they have in Christ Jesus. He tells them they have been made alive in Christ and are temples for the Lord. Then Paul prays for their spiritual growth and unity and urges them to be made new in the attitude of their minds. He describes this as living as children of light.
The rest of the section of his letter after the challenge to become new in attitude speaks specifically to the ways the new attitude will affect behavior (4:25-32):
- Stop telling lies—tell the truth.
- Don’t let anger control you.
- Quit stealing.
- Work hard.
- Give generously to others in need.
- Don’t use foul language, but make sure everything you say is helpful and uplifting, encouraging others.
- Don’t bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit by the way you live.
- Get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slander, and all types of evil behavior.
- Be kind and tenderhearted.
- Forgive as God has forgiven you.
No wonder Paul says we will shine as lights when our attitude is new! A person who behaves like that will stand out from the crowd. In most of the rest of his letter to the Ephesians, Paul talks about personal relationships: between bosses and their workers, parents and children, husbands and wives, and friends. All the counsel he gives for these relationships being fulfilling and healthy are rooted in the new attitude that flows from a new heart. Attitude IS everything.
- How has your attitude changed since Jesus? What do you think the people who know you most might say?
- Thank Jesus for the way He is working IN you to make your attitude new.
- Look carefully at your life with Jesus and see what additional changes He might want to make in your attitude. Look at the list of characteristics from Paul and evaluate how your attitude is changing.