“Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude toward life.The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.
I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position.
Attitude keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right, there’s no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.”
Charles R. Swindoll
When I came across this “gem,” it resonated with me. My attitude was deeply entrenched into my personality. I had tried to live by my personal motto: “You cannot control another person’s actions; you can only control how you react to them.” This brilliant comment by Mr. Swindoll cause me to reflect on my “motto.” In dissecting it, I realized the word “react” is not quite the right word. “Respond” is more the way I would like to handle circumstances now. To me, it suggests that I have thought what my next action will be, how it will be received, and if it should be said at all. It confirms that I have considered the multiple possibilities of what was said or done. Perhaps, the action was a response to something that had nothing at all to do with me-I was just the person at the “receiving end” of a long line of misinterpretations.
What if I had “reacted” in a typical “knee-jerk” fashion and said something I might regret? It pains me to say this, but I have done that many times. At this very moment, I am living through the consequences of “reacting,” and I am in the process of re-building a valued relationship from scratch. My thoughtless reaction caused this beloved person to reevaluate their entire relationship with me. Over twenty five years of life lived in each other’s presence. Their trust in me is gone, and my opinions and advice no longer are taken into consideration-all because I “reacted” without thinking. I let my emotions sweep me away, and I reacted so poorly.
Now I struggle to climb out of this abyss of deep regret. While I know Jesus has already forgiven me, and they are gracious enough to try again, I struggle to forgive myself. In doing this, ( living in shame), I am negating the greatest sacrifice of all time-Jesus dying for my sins, and choosing to “remember my sins no more.” So many choices. I need a change in attitude.
For today, at this moment, I choose to change my attitude. I want to be positive- I AM positive that I am valued by the LORD Most High, so I forgive myself, as I know the LORD, “who knowest the hearts of all men,” (Acts 2 v 24), would want me to do this.
So, I leave you with this thought: “You can’t control how another person acts, but you can control how you respond.” I pray that today, and all days going forth, that you control your responses. Think before you act. Ensuring ALL words/deeds and actions to another’s be uplifting, loving and caring, as our Heavenly Father has done, and continues to do, for us.
For His Glory,