Sometimes life gets to be really tough. I was spending some time just talking with God, well actually it was probably more like whining to God. I was telling Him how hard life could sometimes be, how I needed His help and how I am not sure that I can take a whole lot more of the tough stuff.
I should have known better, because whenever I go to God with this kind of “Woe is me” attitude, He almost immediately begins to work an attitude adjustment into my life. This is basically what God taught me and it might be useful to you as you face some of the tough curves that life will throw your way!
As we live our lives there are all kinds of different attitudes we can possess and that can possess us. It is true that attitude makes all the difference! While they are many different attitudes, I have found that there are at least three that seem to have a reoccurring role in my life. They are: “I want to!”, ” I have to!” and “I get to!” Each one seems to have an element of right, but only one will work to pull us through the really tough stuff to that place of blessing, growth and impact! Let’s take a moment to think about each one as we seek to make sure that we have a right attitude that is pleasing to God and a blessing to others!
I Want To! At first this seems like a pretty good attitude. My wanting to is a good thing, but it is not the right motivation. Just because I want to, does not mean it is right! I want to do a lot of things that I don’t need to do and a few things that I shouldn’t do. We convince ourselves – if it feels right, then go for it. But haven’t we all lived life long enough to discover how this attitude can get us into trouble by taking us ultimately to a place that we don’t want to be, costing us more than we want to spend and keeping us longer than we want to stay. Wanting to does not make it right, it just sometimes makes it easy and easy is not always best!
I Have To! This one really sounds right when we say it to self and others: “I don’t really have any other choice – I have to.” You always have another choice and they’re a lot of things that we call have tos that we don’t do. Doing something because you have to is not the best choice, because if you are doing something because you have to, it is very possible that you are not doing it with the best or right attitude. You could be doing what you are doing just because you have to, and if you are doing it just because you have to, then are you really doing it right, with the right spirit, with all that you’ve got and then some?
I Get To! This is that magical attitude that gets us through the tough, so that we become stronger, better and more effective. This is that attitude that makes the sweet even sweeter. I may want to or I may not want to, but when I look at it (whatever it is) as an “I get to”, then it changes everything. (Perspective really does make a huge difference!) The truth is: I don’t deserve anything good and I deserve most anything bad that comes my way, but my Creator loves me and He wants to bless me with good as He protects and grows me for His glory from the bad. Whatever it is that I am supposed to be doing at this time may not be a want to, it may be a have to, but I don’t have to get stuck there. I can move beyond the limits of a “have to”, to the limitless and miraculous “I get to!” It is at this place that God begins to do an amazing work to me and through me!
Take some time today to think about what God has you doing. As you doing it ask yourself: Am I doing this because I want to, have to or get to???