"THE ATTITUDE OF PRAISE"
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light"-1 Peter 2:9
To the scattered strangers, Peter sends words of great encouragement. He reminds them, that even though they are scattered and persecuted, they still have reason to rejoice: they are chosen, elected to live with God in glory; they no longer need a high priest to offer sacrifices, they are of royal lineage and can offer spiritual sacrifices themselves; they have been made holy by the blood of Christ; all of which sets them apart from the world in a special and peculiar way. Thus, even in their present plight, they should show the world their riches by the their attitude, the attitude of praise.
The attitude of praise, that Peter suggests, is of great importance to God's people. It is an expression of Christ, what He has done for us and our appreciation of His person and gifts. It is one of the things that people will remember most about God's people. Charles Swindoll said, "The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important that facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill, It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, an that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our Attitudes."
I was thinking about this subject while watching a basketball game a few nights ago. On my way home I thought, "What do we remember most about a game? Is it the score? Who won? What their mascot was? The color of their jerseys? No, we remember the attitude of the participants." I have seen teams lose who seemed that they won because of their attitudes. I have seen teams win who seemed that they lost because of their attitudes. As Christians, we wear a jersey. It is observed by the community; our children; the enemies of Christ; and God Himself. In times of discouragement, heartache, offenses, struggles, challenges and yes, even losses, the attitude of praise is the jersey to wear. It must be possible or Peter would never have encouraged such behavior from scattered strangers.
Elwood Chapman said, "Attitudes are caught, not taught." Unlike the common cold, the attitude of praise lifts the spirits of those who come in contact with people affected with the malady. It can go through a crowd; a family; a church. It warms the cold heart and refreshes the spirit. It is a balm of Gilead displayed only by peculiar people. John Maxwell said, "Attitude is the speaker of our present; It is he prophet of our future." Truly, this is a solemn thought. We have all observed people become the victims of their own attitude.
By word picture, God has given many worshipful attitudes for His people to catch: (1) David's positive attitude: I Samuel 17:36; (2) Abraham's loving attitude: Genesis 13:8; (3) Joshua's dedicated attitude: Joshua 24:15; (4) Job's submissive attitude: Job 13:15; (5) Caleb's encouraging attitude: Numbers 13:30; (6) Paul's charitable attitude: Acts 20:35; (7) Timothy's determined attitude: II Timothy 2:3; (8) Paul's long-suffering attitude: Philippians 4:12. All of these, and many more, may be found in the person of Jesus Christ. He wear the coat of many colors. If we are to emulate Christ in our daily conversation, it is certain that the attitude of praise must be found. Lord, in every situation, help us to put on Christ and wear the attitude of praise!