Jonathan's Perspective  

Aug 10

The Right Attitude

The Right Attitude

Our attitude is the springboard of our behavior.  An egotistical person is going to treat employees differently than a humble person.  A colleague grasping to climb the ladder is going to treat fellow workers as either a rung or an obstacle.  A loyal person will humbly obey while a disloyal person will grumble all the way.  How would you describe your attitude at home and at work?  With the stresses of deadlines, rejection, quotas, and just plain ugliness between people, it is a challenge to keep the right attitude.  Paul encourages us to have the same attitude that was in Christ Jesus: 'Who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!  Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.' (Phil 2:6-11).  Let's look at these four qualities of Jesus' attitude.


First, Jesus was a servant.  This does not mean he was a doormat.  Rather, he knew who he was and the Father to whom he looked for validation.  So many people look at others either as 'the competition' or to be used to find accolades and a sense of self.  Self-centeredness marks both of these secular views.  Jesus was strong to the core which enabled him to serve others without worrying about his position or what others thought of him.  Henry Blackaby writes in his book Spiritual Leadership, 'Spiritual leaders do not use their people to accomplish their goals; their people are the goal.'  Ken Blanchard echoes the same idea in one of his books.  He says that operational leadership is more important than strategic leadership because it deals with developing employees and customers.  Operational leadership focuses on serving employees by providing them with the best training and resources so they can serve your customers by delivering the best service or product to meet their needs. 


Secondly, Jesus was humble.  Humility comes in many forms.  It means that we don't think we know it all, but are open to critique and willing to learn from our mistakes.  Jim Collins talks about this in terms of 'confronting the brutal facts' in his book Good to Great.  The top leaders Collins studied, without exception, were tremendously humble.  I like Dennis Bakke's (Founder of AES Global Power) rules; #8 is 'Everyone must get advice before making a decision.  If you don't seek advice, you're fired.'  A humble attitude that looks outward for answers produces the best decisions.  Of course, humility has to do with a general love for people as they are.  In The Screw Tape Letters, C. S. Lewis writes, 'When [people] have really learned to love their neighbors as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbors.'  When we look to the interests of others to serve and build them up before we think about our own needs, we will be on our way to Christ-like humility.


Thirdly, Christ had an attitude of obedience.  Obedience seems like a no-brainer in the business world.  But if you have children, you that there are a thousand ways to obey.  We can grumble, gossip, make snide comments, and drag our heels.  That is not the kind of obedience that Jesus showed.  He had a sense of loyalty to the Father that superseded himself.  In the garden Jesus asked, even pleaded with the Father, that he would not have to go to the cross.  But once he put it before the Father and was told that that was the way God intended to redeem the world, Jesus got up and was 'obedient to death.'  The British call it the loyal opposition.  We may not get our way on a decision or a policy but we loyally work for the good of our family or organization.  As an advisor said to Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia, 'I know when it is time to give advice, and I know when it is time to take orders.'


Finally, Jesus allowed the Father to exalt him rather than try to exalt himself.  Exaltation cannot be the objective sought but is a by-product of tending to others.  It is an indirect benefit, like self-esteem.  We don't become good at self-esteem; self-esteem comes when we become good at something else.  Jesus told us that he who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.  A lighthouse doesn't have to ring a bell to get a boat's attention if it is working properly.  We don't have to toot our own horns.  We will be exalted when another recognizes our good work and lifts us up.  And if we focus on lifting up others to help them realize their potential and recognize them among their peers, we will gain a tremendous reputation for building up individuals and teams.  The more we help others shine, the brighter we will shine. 


So how is your attitude at home and at work?  Are you growing in your servant leadership?  Do you have humility to be a continual learner?  Are you cheerfully obedient even when you think a decision isn't the best?  Do you focus on lifting others up rather than yourself?  We all have a long way to go but thank God that he will lead us there if we let him!


Munholland is expanding the Study Hall ministry this year, and is looking for a Director.  The working hours will be from 3:00 - 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  The purpose of the Study Hall is to provide a safe Christian environment in which Haynes Middle Schoolers can do their homework and be tutored.  It will be focused on kids who need academic help.  The Director will be responsible for organizing the program, hiring employees, and recruiting volunteer tutors.  If interested, contact Jessika Horner at 504-729-7069 for more information and a job description.  Résumés must be submitted by Friday, August 12th to


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