Do you have an outie or an innie?
I’m talking about your attitude. Does yours face inward? Attitudes form the judgment of others about us. Our attitudes cause us to act a certain way. Our actions should be lined up with God’s Word. And our actions are what others see. So what are your actions? What are your attitudes? And are they inward or outward focused?
Ephesians 4:31-32 (NET)
31 You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk. 32 Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.
God forgave you. Therefore we are to forgive one another, working through our salvation, our sanctification, to be like Christ. We need to forgive one another. This is the attitude of holiness that God wants from us.
Now, our attitudes are twofold — that which can be seen and that which can’t. It is so easy to put on an attitude for others to see. This can be fake or it can be real. You know what God desires. But ultimately He wants us to develop an inner attitude of holiness. He doesn’t desire that our holiness be simply something for show, for others to see.
If we live in a way that is simply for others to see, to compliment us for our goodness, then we are being prideful. This is sin. Selfish desires such as these are destructive.
If we study the Word and learn more about Christ and His attitude toward us, we will learn more about how we are to act toward others. With this type of attitude we will be able to become stronger spiritually. This will develop inner holiness and thus an inner attitude that will be pleasing to God. We need to learn what God desires of us so that we can live in such a manner.
In that, the best place to start is your love walk. And the start of your love walk is to love God.
Matthew 22:37-39 (NET)
37 Jesus said to him, “‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind .’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘ Love your neighbor as yourself .’
Don’t just skim over this. It is easy to simply say “Sure, I love God.” But understanding that loving God is the first and most important commandment it should take a very important part in your thinking about how you act, about your attitude and about your holiness. God should be first. This means that when you are about to do anything, you think about whether it would please God that you go through with it. Is this what God would have you do?
The apostle John put it this way:
John 14:15 (NET)
“If you love me, you will obey my commandments.
Do what God would have you do. His commandments. Live by His principles.
And then we are to love our neighbor as He loves us. And know that how we treat others speaks volumes about how we love God. We cannot say that we love God is we hate our brother.
1 John 4:20-21 (NET)
20 If anyone says “I love God” and yet hates his fellow Christian, he is a liar, because the one who does not love his fellow Christian whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And the commandment we have from him is this: that the one who loves God should love his fellow Christian too.
This includes both our brothers whom we already love, our neighbors whom we like (and say we love) and also our enemies. You already know that Jesus told us to love our enemies, don’t you?
We are to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all men. We don’t get to pick and choose. Whether we like them or not, preach the Gospel to them. It is what God did for us. When we were yet in our sins, repulsive to God, He sent His only begotten Son to come and die a grisly and painful death to take our penalty for our sin. He saved us from eternal damnation.
Do God’s will for our lives in our daily walk. We need to give ourselves over to Him. This is what salvation is. You are no longer your own, but you are God’s. In return He seals you with the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption.
For all He did for us, we need have an attitude of gratitude. We need an attitude of holiness. We need to live according to His will for our lives. Holiness is the mark that we should be looking to achieve. And Love is the starting place. Beginning with love, ford God and for your fellow man, will help you to build your attitude of love to what God desires it to be.
Begin this development with your inner attitude. Develop a love for God that gives you a desire to serve Him and to do everything that He would have you do. Then take that attitude out to your brothers and sisters, to your neighbors and to your enemies.
Love is the key to both the outies and the innies.