Christmas is my favorite holiday.
I love to decorate, bake, give gifts, sing Christmas carols, go to church, and especially spend time with those I love.
But this year—this crazy mixed-up year—I’ve found myself a little less merry and bright. I just read the new lockdown orders from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The new orders prohibit: Walking, driving, travel on public transport, bikes, motorcycles, and scooters are prohibited, other than for those undertaking essential activities.
If I’m being honest, I’ve struggled with a bad attitude quite often during 2020. The Lord called me out on it while I was griping about wearing masks, and not being able to eat inside restaurants. I heard Him say in my spirit, “Stop complaining. I’m at work … even in this.”
Yikes! I quickly repented. But ya know what? That nasty attitude of mine just kept creeping back. Every time I would read some ridiculous news article, hear about more lockdowns or restrictions, or almost anything political—I would get all steamed up again.
“Lord, help me with my stinkin’ thinkin’!”
As usual, God is faithful. He led me to the Psalms. The book of Psalm has approximately 42 Psalms of lament: pouring out of sorrow, anger, frustration, or complaining to God. What a relief! This amazing book tucked in the middle of our Bibles teaches us how to complain to God in a way that honors Him!
The Psalms are where I found three steps to reverse my negative attitude (aka stinkin’ thinkin’). Take a look at how this Psalm begins with a lament:
“I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked: “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” Psalm 77: 5-6
But then a few verses down, we read a shift in attitude. It’s as though the Holy Spirit got ahold of the psalmist’s heart, and then his thoughts, perspective, and attitude began to change.
The same can happen to us! What do you say we give it a try?
3 Ways to Reverse Stinkin’ Thinkin’
When things seem bad, it takes a conscious effort to recall the good times. The Lord is always good. And He had done many wonderful things for us. We just need to take a moment and recall them. Or another thing we can do is go straight to the Psalms of Thanksgiving and read them aloud.
One of the best things we can do when our thoughts sour is to sweeten them up by recalling the goodness of God.
“I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:11-12).
I’ve noticed it’s pretty tough to gripe and complain while worshipping. It isn’t long before a transformation takes place.
Sort of like the Grinch, my heart seems to grow three sizes when I focus on the greatness of God.
3) Tell Others
“Your ways, God, are holy.” Psalm 77:13
Do you know what spreads faster than the coronavirus? A bad attitude!
Guess what? We can also spread positivity and kindness. So, let’s show others God’s love, and share with them the reason for our hope.
I’ve noticed it’s pretty tough to gripe and complain while worshipping.
“What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” Psalm 77:13-14
“One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.” Psalm 145: 5-7
My friends, people are generally more open to talking about spiritual matters during the holiday season. We also have more opportunities to see family and friends. Let’s not allow the enemy to rob us of the joy of the Christmas season.
Let’s keep our attitudes in check (I’m preaching to myself here) with God’s help by reversing stinkin’ thinkin’.