Encouragement for Today
“Attitude and Accessories”
Zoe Elmore, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Ephesians 5:1-2, “Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (NIV)
Have you ever heard the motto: “Life is 90% attitude and 10% accessories?” Well, that’s one motto that could be used to describe my life. You see I always have an attitude, and I love accessories. Well, I’ve discovered a “new attitude” and a brand new accessory I’d like to share with you. The attitude is gratitude and the accessory is grace.
Over the last few years there has been a surge of books on gratitude, gratitude journals, and seminars on “How to be Grateful”. All of these are good; however I’m always interested to see if any of these things point us to the One who provides everything to which we should give thanks.
If you’re looking for a way to begin your attitude of gratitude and you want to ensure that God remains at the center try my mental exercise. Name a different character trait of God for each letter of the alphabet. As you try this exercise you’ll see for yourself why giving God all of our gratitude is so important. The very God who is almighty, benevolent, and compassionate (just to name a few of His character traits) is the same God Who knit us together in our mother’s wombs and knew us before the foundation of the earth.
Ephesians 5:1 tells us to “be imitators of God.” In other words, we are to act just like our Heavenly Father. When our two sons were three and four years old they use to “shave” their faces, just like their daddy. I also remember them trying to act just like daddy as they put on his dress shoes and drug his heavy briefcase to the back door. It was important to our sons that they be identified with their daddy and in their minds imitating his behavior made them just like him. The same is true for each of us; as we imitate the character traits of our Heavenly Father, we will be identified with Him and others will know our Father by our behavior.
In a nutshell, this verse encourages us to have a lifestyle that is marked by an attitude of thanksgiving no matter what our circumstances are and this can only be accomplished when we allow the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to rule in our hearts, minds and lives. As we abide in Christ we are equipped to live a life marked with the attitude of gratitude. Here’s my acronym to assist you in abiding in and living out an attitude of gratitude:
As we read on in this passage, we are encouraged to sacrifice our selfish nature, our own desires, and to live a life that reflects God’s character of love, and that is what I refer to as the accessory of grace. When we live a life of love the aroma of our lives will be a sweet precious fragrance to others, drawing them to the master perfume maker.
I’m reminded of Abraham as he obeyed God with gratitude and grace even in the midst of his life being interrupted with a move to a foreign land. The aroma of his life remains with us to this very day as a fragrant example of grace.
Joseph saw the suffering in his life as God’s training ground to prepare him to be the one chosen to feed a nation as well as the brothers who set out to harm him. He illustrates this fragrant life of love and grace. With grace Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. Genesis 50:20 says, “You (my brothers) intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many people.” (NIV)
Are you ready for a new attitude? Does your life have room for one more accessory? Then I encourage you to make one motto of your life: “The attitude of gratitude and the accessory of grace.”
My Prayer for Today:
Heavenly Father, we are thankful that the character traits of Your life serve as the perfect example for us to imitate. Keep us ever faithful to live our lives with an attitude of gratitude and to adorn ourselves with the accessory of grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Begin to change your attitude to one of gratitude. Practice it and watch it become a habit.
Once your habit is established it will soon become part of your character.
Your character will punctuate your life’s destiny and then you will be seen and known as a Woman of Gratitude and Grace.
Have you ever experienced a time of Always Being In Divine Energy?
What is keeping you from experiencing the attitude of gratitude?
Is grace a difficult thing to practice in your life?
What steps can you take to change that?
1 Peter 1:6-7, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith –(which is) of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (NIV)
Romans 5:2b-5, “And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our suffering, because suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us.” (NIV)
Hebrews 10:35-39, “So do not throw away your confidence: it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so when you have done the will of God, you will receive what was promised. For in just a little while, He who is coning will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back I will not be pleased with him.” (NIV)
The Ultimate Makeover, by Sharon Jaynes
Shaped with Purpose, by Renee Swope
P31 Woman Magazine
Originally published Wednesday, 19 April 2006.