October 4, 2022
Are You Obeying God with a Bad Attitude?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT).
Friend to Friend
“Fine, God, I’ll do it!” After days of arguing with God about why He would ask me to go to the hospital to visit someone that I didn’t like, I finally went. As I rode in the elevator with a “I’m-a-good-Christian-woman” look on my face, there was nothing godly about what was simmering on the inside. I was madder than a millennial without a cellphone power cord. As I walked down the hallway, frustrated words escaped in a furious whisper, “God, why me? I really don’t want to do this.”
Can you relate? When’s the last time that you had a negative attitude to living out some aspect of your faith?
You resist forgiveness because you don’t think that it’s fair that God asks you to forgive.
You know that you should be patient, but it’s a lot easier for you to complain.
You sense God asking you to give up control, but you’re ready to blame God if something goes wrong.
Does our attitude matter when God calls us to live out our faith? How does a bad attitude impact our faith?
Today’s Truth reminds us that trusting God begins with our heart, not our actions. We usually only trust when we feel safe or secure with the one that we are trusting. A negative or bad attitude toward what God is calling you to do may reveal a lack of trust in your heart. If you question whether God is good or that He is leading you toward His best, that will often manifest in pessimism, complaining, anger or other negative attitudes. This isn’t a salvation issue, but a bad attitude often sets up a bad outcome.
In Numbers 20, the Israelites complained to Moses about the lack of water. Again. God gave Moses the same instructions that He’d given before to Moses on how to bring about safe drinking water. In Numbers 20:8, God tells Moses to take his staff and speak to a rock that was before the people. Then, God promised that enough water would flow to satisfy the entire Israelite community and their animals.
Moses grabs his staff and gathers the people in front of the rock. While Moses appears to be obedient, the following statement offers powerful insight about Moses’ attitude toward what God has asked him to do: “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” (Numbers 20:10). Rather than standing before the people and proclaiming that God was about to send a provisional miracle to meet their needs, Moses’ bad attitude reveals frustration and pride. Not only that, but Moses’ bad attitude turned into a slippery slope that led to disobedience.
Next, instead of speaking to the rock, Moses struck the rock, not once, but twice with his staff. This was not what God instructed him to do. Yet water flowed from the rock and the Israelites drank their fill (20:11). While Moses’ poor attitude didn’t stop God’s plans, his poor attitude led to disobedience.
As we reflect again on Today’s Truth, Proverbs 3:6 gives us the “so that” outcome for when we trust. The Message paraphrase says it this way: “…so that your life will stay on track.” As I sat in the hospital during that visit and saw that God was at work in that person’s life, my attitude began to change. I saw that God was using me to accomplish His purposes and that was so humbling!
Where do you think God wants you to do an attitude check today? A good attitude reflects your trust in the goodness of God. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have hard days and you can always be honest with God in all things. Still, keep an eye on your attitude. A bad attitude won’t stop God’s plans, but your bad attitude can keep you from experiencing the fullness of God’s blessing for you.
Dear God, help me to check my attitude today! I want to trust Your ways, no matter what I am facing. As I reflect on how I’m doing when trusting You, help me to get to the bottom of any bad attitude that is influencing my faith or behavior today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Is there a bad attitude that you need to surrender to God today?
In what ways could you see yourself in Barb’s or Moses’ story?
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s content is adapted from Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus, a popular six-week Bible study from Barb Roose. This six-week study explores Jesus’s time of testing in the wilderness and offers practical tools to help you let go of control and live in God’s peace.
©2022 by Barb Roose. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Tuesday, 04 October 2022.