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Attitude - Monday Musing, August 29, 2022

Dear Church,

Attitude – a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior. It is said that one’s outlook can greatly impact health, social life, earning potential, productivity, ability to overcome obstacles, and more. With a positive attitude, excelling in these various domains of life can become a simpler endeavor – creating enormous benefits that can significantly improve the quality of life.

Is it possible to have a positive attitude all the time? Perhaps how we frame our situation can improve our attitude. A Facebook friend posted the following on her newsfeed the other day, which illustrates my point.

Instead of saying “I’m ok” when you’re really not, try:

· I’m sad, and I need some support.

· I feel terrible. Can I have a hug?

· I’m feeling lonely. Can we go for a walk together?

· I’m scared and frustrated. Can you come over and sit with me?

· Are you open for a phone call? I’d like to share how I’m feeling with you.

· I’m not OK today, but I do not need you to “fix things.”

· My heart is heavy. Can you send me some loving energy?

· I’m feeling uncertain. Do you have any words of encouragement for me?

· I’m upset and overwhelmed. Can we make time to talk later?

· I love you – but I’m not happy with you right now. I need some space.

We face challenges each and every day. By being vulnerable with others, opening ourselves up to what is really going on, we may find a helpful reprieve, thus lifting our attitudes. The author of Proverbs writes, “A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired (17:22, The Message).

In our sermon series, A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community, we have learned that to embark on a journey of expanding our table of welcome, we must nurture, listen to, see, and know others who do not need to prove themselves worthy to sit at our table. Pavlovitz puts it this way: “The most God-honoring, most Jesus-reflecting act is to err on the side of loving people. When you simply accept those around you in whatever condition they come to you, the table naturally expands and relationship happens and God does stuff that you couldn’t predict or control.” This is why the task of expanding the table is described as being ‘messy’ – it invites people to the table who do not look like us, act like us, or believe like us. So, the question for us: Do we have the right attitude to do the work that is required to expand our ministry? In his invitation to the table, Jesus allowed people to see their worth in the midst of their human flaws. Dare we overlook flaws in ourselves and each other? Might we be open to the Spirit of God blowing through these 375-year-old bones of ours and venture out to do a new thing? See you in church!




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