Guard your attitude

What if you could completely change your perspective in life by changing your attitude in the light of the Scriptures? Discover how Paul's teachings in 2 Corinthians 10:1-6 can help you guard and reframe your attitude in your journey as a follower of Christ.

Jason Miles


Transcript (Auto-generated)

All right thank you Dylan and team for getting us going with worship this morning uh well it's been an awesome morning already actually hasn't it there's been lots of things happening and uh and lots of evidence of God's work already um if you haven't met me before my name is Jason Mars um and uh you may have seen me up here uh worship leading or singing and um being involved in things up here previously I find myself in a similar situation this morning um to some others who have been asked to um come and give give a message um and uh David Lo's asked me a few different times already actually and I've managed to find excuses for not to do the message previously but today um I am up and I'm going to give it give it a shot um and actually um David's retired now so um if I make a I don't know a theological mistake up here or something like that maybe I can't go to David that was my original plan anyway um so anyway but not just yet you can still can for a little bit hey all right so um the message this morning morning um is called guard your attitude are you generally a positive optimistic enthusiastic kind of person or are you sometimes a little negative maybe pesimistic or even a glass that's half empty kind of person we often can be a bit of both right do you get out of the of bed in the morning U with a good attitude do you bounce out of bed singing ready to go for the morning or do you need your coffee before you can face anyone and actually get up and ready to move for the morning uh I personally don't necessarily need my coffee straight away but I'm definitely looking for it by morning tea uh and by lunchtime I got a headache if I haven't had it so um coffee is certainly certainly important to me um so what's your attitude like in Psychology an attitude refers to emotions beliefs and behaviors towards a particular person event or thing attitude can be described as the way we evaluate something or someone in the morning before you get going uh maybe it's about the morning ahead uh or how you're feeling um who knows it can be a whole range of different things that can change your attitude our attitude is bit like a pair of glasses actually that we wear it's a lens that we look through uh and the attitude can change and our lens can change depending on what's going on for us during the day can be a light a bit bit lighter or it can be a little darker as well in 2024 it's actually unfortunately sometimes difficult to have a positive attitude and it's fairly easy to slide into a negative one we live in a fastpac demanding Society don't we with numerous responsibilities and high expectations we lead busy lives we have family responsibilities work or education whatever it might be for you there's lots of things going on cost of living is going up expenses are higher there's a housing crisis there's significant conflicts around the world uh and the sustainab sustainability issues there's a whole range of things that can unfortunately challenge us and create a negative attitude in fact it can be more than that it can be um not just negative but can really become quite anxious with the current world that we live in the second point up there is or first point Max zardo um in his book anxious for nothing asked the question um and and I really like his answer he asked the question why are we so anxious and I like the way he answers it so I want to read a bit to you this morning um so max notes that we live in a world of constant change in fact World rech researchers actually speculate that the current Western environment and social order has changed more in the last 30 years than the previous 300 Max says that um have a think about the things that have changed over the years firstly technology the existence of the internet this has enabled us to um have a whole range of different things but what it also does for us is it increases information that comes to us really really quickly things like warning signs of global warming and nuclear war and terrorist threats just to name a few changes uh and threats are imported into our lives every few seconds with a whole range of different things smartphone devices those kind of things they come at us in lots of different ways Max suggests that our grandparents Generation Um news of an earthquake would reach us some days later our parents would be on the Nightly News um but for us a catastrophe that might go down is a matter of minutes we've barely got a pro we've barely got time to process one crisis of information and then we've got another one coming at us in addition we mov faster than b for right um with planes and trains and and whatever other transport it might be um again Max says our grandparents used to turn down the brain senses when the sun went down but we often have the Nightly News on or turn out our computers or devices or we live in a different world um don't we compared to that so uh unfortunately it's fairly easy in our current world to choose a negative attitude and often negative attitude becomes more than that can become a bad attitude a range of Bible characters also had challenges with their attitude um and uh I'll give you a couple of examples um bad attitudes or negative attitudes can actually become more than just that as I said before they can actually become destructive and really quite negative mindset and a bad attitude can then leave to sin lead to sins and Sorrows um issues such as pride and jealousy and stubborn ESS and entitlement and anger are reoccurring themes that are in a range of different Bible characters Cain's jealousy led him to have an ultimate act of violence Jonah was outright disobedient that caused a whole range of problems for him um as I'm sure you remember King Saul's pride and arrogance had significant impact on his leadership uh and and and significant impact on his life actually um attitudes have been researched for many different years um and they've been looked into a whole range of different psychologists now here's one of them William James was a psychologist and he was considered um a psychologist uh he was considered the father of American psychology and in 1875 James taught at University and one of the first courses of psychology actually uh and he was famous for a number of different psychological Concepts williiam was attribut to talking about attitude uh and he made this statement and he said the greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes your attitude can change the approach of how you do life it can redirect your life and it's so impactful in different situations uh J William James a psychologist uh was made the statement around about 1875 but Paul wrote something in Romans many years before it's on the screen there too Romans 12:2 he wrote this do not conform to any pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind God has good and pleasing plans for all of us he doesn't want us to be like the world he wants us to not focus in our problems and the changing nature of society like Max Lardo was talking about with all all the issues that can go down he wants us to have renewed Minds however we can only do it with the Holy Spirit okay so let's have a look at a Bible passage um and let's read together um so if you've got your Bibles there uh Second Corinthians 10 1-6 uh and it's going to be on the screen um as well there we go cool um all right so let's read it together by the humility and gentleness of Christ I appeal to you I Paul Who Am timid when face to face with you but bold toward you when away I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be towards some people who think that we live by the standards of this world for though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does the weapons that we fight with are not weapons of the world on the contrary they are divine power they have divine divine power to demolish strongholds we demolish arguments with every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ I want to really focus on that line there we make captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ and we will be ready to punish Every Act of Disobedience once that obedience is complete so let's have a look at what um a bit of the background with um with these letters before we get into really looking at um some of the details of that so this is the second letter that Paul wrote to the Corinthians um the first was to help the Corinthians with some problems that they were having you might remember some of those uh and then Paul came and visited the Corinthians and then later on Paul wrote this second letter about some of the issues that were going on and he wanted to assure the Corinthians of his love and commitment um but also challenge the remaining Corinthians who rejected them rejected him at the time and that's where we find ourselves in chapter 10 in this section at the first part of chapter 10 um Paul's responding to his opponents uh we know that majority of the Corinthians actually were siding with Paul at that time however there was a minority that was still slandering him and saying that he was bold in his letters and had no Authority in person and that's what Paul's actually doing he's quoting them back in the first um part of chapter 10 quoting them back to say um uh and actually what he's also trying to do not just just quoting them back but he's telling them that he wants to be sharing the message with Christlike qualities and not weakness and that he's got some good things to share um so let's break this down a little bit and let's have a look um at a few different points from second Corinthians um what can we learn from it number one um we don't need to use human plans to win our battles and you can see that see there in verse three um Paul is using military terminology here to help us to get a picture of this situation we don't have to be like the world because we have a different plan God has a different plan for us as long as we're seeking him and being Guided by him number two is our weapons are not physical for our Warfare is spiritual in nature so rather than guns and tanks and things you might think of warfare straight away when you hear about it God's Mighty weapons are available for us and God's weapons are those of the full armor of God some of the commentary that I was reading and prep in preparing this uh I found that um that this particular um area they're referring to the full armor of God which actually comes from Ephesians 613 to18 I haven't got on the screen but I want to read the full armor of God to you um you might uh I'm sure that you recognize it it says this therefore put on the full armor of God so that when uh so that when the day of the evil comes that you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything to stand stand firm then with the belt of Truth truth buckled around your waist with a breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the Readiness that comes from the gospel of peace in addition to this take your Shield of Faith with which you can extinguish flaming arrows of the evil one take your helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit which is God's word if we have this kind of armor who can be against us hey um you may it I recall it from Colby Canon actually in singing that that particular um set of verses um number three God's plan is to demolish spiritual strongholds and this is in verse four and five so Paul's using these words metaphorically uh as a description of a spiritual battle that we have we don't have weapons of this world but we have the power to demolish the ideas and thoughts that Satan might throw at us or send our way so what are these strongholds that he talks about strongholds or fortifications depending on which um uh version you were reading a stronghold is an area where the enemy entrenches themselves and tries to take control or defend something in the next verse Paul then interprets um the metaphor and he says we will demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God so the the arguments are the philosophies and reasonings and schemes of this world that might come against God and the pretentions uh have to do with uh anything of um someone being proud or man centered or self-confident the act of appearing more important or intelligent that you are in order to impress other people so God can demolish these if we seek him we don't have to use the weapons the guns the tanks we use God's word to demolish these things and demolish these ideas that we might come across um and number four which is on the screen and this is the one I want to focus on today um a little bit more um we need to capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ capturing every every thought is so important uh because Satan will come says that in Ephesians um he's unfortunately alive and well he will bombard our minds with cleverly devised patterns and thinking and thoughts that lead to suspicion to doubt to fear to reasoning and theories that refute God's word and when these thoughts get rooted in our minds that's when they become strongholds which is what the passage is talking about but it's only if we get the en if we give the enemy control that they actually would become strongholds so we need to grab these thoughts and not let them take control of us because this type type of thinking doesn't come from God things like um I'm not capable or I can't complete this task um or even bigger things like um my sin is too big to be forgiven or I'm not valued or no one cares for me these kind of things are not from God they are from the enemy and they are um uh the enemy trying to build up those strongholds and challenge us with things um I really like Max lardo's anxious for nothing and if you haven't read it before I certainly encourage you to he's got another metaphor which I really like about this um and his metaphor is this He suggests that um you can be the traffic controller of your mental airport I quite like how this kind of works in my head for me anyway so it might work for you too so you can be in the control tower so think about an airport at the moment think about the planes coming and going think about the airport controller with all the all the dials and and considering lots of things as the planes are flowing around we can direct our mental traffic in our world and we can stop things that are coming into our airport we can decide so thoughts might be circling around like planes coming and going to different places uh and they want to land we need to give permission for them to land so we are in control of our mind we're in control of those thoughts that might come in and if one comes our way and we don't like it we can kick it out we can get it we can tell it to fly off somewhere else you can control your thought patterns and you can control your mind uh you don't have to let negative thoughts build up um however it's difficult right we live in a difficult world there's lots of challenges there's lots of emotions there's lots of things around that we have talked about before Proverbs 4:23 says this it says for that reason the wise man cautions be careful what you think because your thoughts run your life our our mental processing of problems and concerns is so important about how we do life and so important for our attitude so what can we do about this how can we make sure we do our absolute best to have a good positive God focused attitude how can we do it here's some suggestions for us I love those pictures of Romans um with the with the different shielding that they do do with uh with their um with their team I I couldn't find what movie it was in but I can remember multiple movies you may have seen before where um an enemy might coming attacking and they just move their Shields into formation they just protect themselves from from the different um arrows or fire or whatever might be coming it was a cool image um for me to think through as I Was preparing this message so these are some things we can do we live in a difficult World we've got problems all around us but what can we do to guard our attitude and make sure we've got our Shield up when problems come because that's what God wants for us number one we can choose what we think about we can reframe our minds and we can be hopeful and have positive attitudes Romans 12:2 I read it before do not con confirm any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind with God's help we can think positively we can take control and we can be seeking him that's my first one number two um spend some time with God meditate on God's word and rely on the Holy Spirit to transform your attitude this one comes from Romans 85 to6 I haven't got the the passage up there but I want to read it to you um those who live according to the flesh have their Mind Set On The Flesh what the flesh desires but those who live in accordance with the spirit have their mind set on what the spirit desires the Mind govern by the flesh is death but the Mind governed by the spirit is life and peace it's a cool verse hey the Mind governed by the flesh is death but the Mind governed by the spirit is life and peace who doesn't want life and peace so we have to daily consciously make this Choice don't we to Center our lives on God because as I said before the enemy is coming and he is coming for your thoughts he is coming for your mind uh and often he'll come for you as you get up in the morning he might be challenging you before you wake up and unfortunately he comes for those cracks and he determines Where You're vulnerable and um and goes to kind of seek those cracks now it doesn't have to be like that because we don't fight with weapons of this world um we fight with God's weapons and so we can demolish those strongholds but we got to be Contin ually doing it we have to be consciously seeking God every single day so choose to think what we think about number two meditate on God's word and do it each and every day uh number three which is already up there be prepared and expect Temptation John 3:16 uh sorry John 16:33 we know John 3:16 really well but John 1633 says this in this world you will have trouble but take heart I have overcome the world I love that one too in this world we will have trouble trouble is normal there are problems there are issues there are Global disasters but in this world God has overcome this world he's overcome the strongholds so here's a couple of suggestions for you with this one um uh they're they're just smaller underneath um the first one is develop a philosophy um determine why you do things the way you do um what do you really value what's important to you um know why you do things it's a bit like a personal vision statement why do you approach things the way you do churches organizations businesses they all have them they all have a vision statement um I actually think that we should too I think we personally should have a mission statement so that we know why we do things and and how we approach things and and sometimes you can come back to that to uh to help you uh my second one is to have a plan to reframe your attitude when things go wrong because we have problems right things will go wrong but have a plan to bounce yourself out of it when you're going down a wrong path with your with your attitude or mindset um uh it could be a whole range of different things it could something that will work for you it might be a song it might be a statement it might be a message it might be um words that bounce back um what can you do to reframe your attitude when you've got something going on that's a challenge um here's a couple of ideas um these are some that work for me um can't quite read it from the screen up there so I'll just go to my slides here uh fear or faith despair or hope problems or Solutions I like this one hey um you would definitely go for faith hope and solutions right but do you want to go for fear despair or problems um it could be a line that might work for you um this one works for me too problems that I come across today are actually opportunities for growth because we're going to have problems they're going to come your way but instead of it being a problem why don't you see there's an opportunity to grow and learn and get better at something it's a good challenge I can't do it proper yet but I certainly give myself a give myself the challenge to do it be grills I quite like B grills too be gr has got some awesome things he says thank you very much Steve he says this line um he says that negative talk is stinking thinking and you need to change it so if you have those negative talk coming into your mind if the plane starting to land with that negative pessimistic stuff it's thinking thinking get rid of that kind of stuff who wants that I like Joyce Meer as well and she says a bad attitude is like a fat flat tire it can't go anywhere till you change it you can't go anywhere with the flat tire right so change your attitude before you go out and before you get going with things the other one which you might have seen there as a picture too it says there are two ways to be happy uh change the situation or change your mindset to it it's hard though right it's hard work to actually do so some suggestions for you maybe one of those might work for you a few of those do work for me um in a bit of a tricky situation okay so that's be prepared and expect Temptation um number four is memorized Bible scripture you would have heard this before um you've definitely heard our pastors talk about this before um um Proverbs 3:3 says let love and faithfulness never leave you bind them around your neck write them on the tablet of your heart in difficult situations verses that you have by memory they just start to float back to you um if you've got them by memory it's a challenge though right because um you know things are hard to remember and it's hard to challenge yourself to keep going back into um remember things for me personally I have to keep learning in order to keep keep those particular things in my memory um maybe you've got list so my my DOT point that goes with that is have an accessible list of verses um wherever that might be most of us have phones on us others like writing on a notepad have an accessible accessible list of Bible verses that works for you that that that continues to um have you challenging God to seek him to bounce things out um of your attitude if you've got a mindset going the wrong direction a friend of mine at work um he used to record himself on his phone just on the voice recorder and you just read a few Bible verses um just ones that needed to help help him and challenge him and then just go back to and play them every now and then just listen to them um as a reminder to keep ourselves on track and keep ourselves with a good attitude um and the last one there uh is positive selft talk you might have heard this this is a psychological principle but it's really valuable too sometimes we just got to convince ourselves that we're all good and we're okay and we're going to get through this and selft talk is really quite helpful to do that so talking things out loud um and there's actually lots of good psychological research that really um suggest that this uh this works too um so maybe one of these might be helpful for you for demolishing the strongholds and getting yourself on back on track in a difficult situation so your mindset and your attitude are so important and in fact as William James uh and Paul and Roman said if you alter your attitude you can change your life you can change the way you look at things so God wants us to guard our attitude and it can be hard work the problem is that there's constant change going and we have to constantly be changing our attitudes we have to keep reframing our mindset we have to capture our thoughts and made make them obedient to Christ don't let them fly around capture them make them obedient to Christ if it's a negative thing and it requires constant mainenance so in conclusion God wants us to have a positive God focused ad ude that's Guided by the Holy Spirit let's pray Lord thank you for your word this morning thank you for the lessons that we can gain from the Bible thank you for Paul thank you for the message from Romans thank you for the message from Corinthians thank you for the fact that you sent your blueprint to guide us in what we do each and every day but Lord we live in 2024 in a difficult world Lord we live in a place where there are problems we live in a place where there are constant information sliding into US constant challenges and problems and and different to any generation before Lord we are challenged with the constant flow of information and so Lord we ask that you guide us we ask that you guide us to use your word to not actually have to use the weapons of the world the guns and the tanks and those kind of things but use your word to demolish strongholds and to continually seek you and Lord It's a challenge right it's a challenge for all of us um because uh it's easy to to drift off into a negative mindset and go down a path that we can get quite anxious and Lord so challenge us and guide us to help us to keep seeking you help us to do it daily Lord help us to memorize scripture to seek you and be guided by you in all ways Lord because that's what you want from us so challenge us Lord Lord I pray that you guide uh myself uh and the rest of us as we go throughout the week that's not just today we're not just learning about you today but we want to seek you in each and every every day of Our Lives so we can be guided by you in your precious name. Amen.