Do you need an attitude adjustment?

By Robert C. Oliver - Contributing columnist

Hank Williams Jr. performed a song in which he talked about several people getting an attitude adjustment, and in one case specified that it was on the top of someone’s head. We certainly are not advocating hitting anyone on the top of the head, but the fact is that if that would do the job, it would probably be worth it in the end. The word “attitude” means a state of mind or feeling with regard to some matter and the word “disposition” might be used in its place. Motivational speakers have been known to use the phrase, “attitude determines altitude”. These speakers usually then point out that the term is literal in the field of aviation, for the “attitude” of the plane concerns the angle of flight in relation to the ground below. They then often make application that the “attitude” one has toward life and the job they are to perform will have a large part to play in their ability to be successful in their endeavors. We wish to give consideration to our attitude or mindset on a few matters concerning our soul’s salvation. It just may be that we need an attitude adjustment on some of these things.

Just what is your attitude toward truth? Some people hate the truth. They do not want to be shown that they are not scripturally correct in their doctrine and practice. The apostle Paul asked the Galatians, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? (Gal. 4:16). Paul told Timothy that the time would come when many would have this attitude about the truth. He wrote, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Tim. 4:3-4). The fact of the matter is, without a love for the truth of God’s word, one will perish. Paul wrote, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (II Thess. 2:10). Pilate once asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Jesus had earlier stated emphatically what truth is. He prayed for His apostles saying, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Some seem to be somewhat indifferent to the truth. They have embraced the idea that is so often taught in our institutions of higher learning, that truth is subjective, it is not the same for everyone and changes according to situations and beliefs. However, the truth is not subjective, but objective. God’s word is truth, no matter what one thinks or has been taught. Though many say, “well, we can’t all understand the Bible alike”, the fact is, if we understand it, we will be alike. If we differ at least one of us must be wrong. Both could be wrong, but both cannot be right. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32)

Secondly, just what is your attitude toward obedience? It seems ridiculous that any would even question whether one must obey God in order to be saved or not, but multitudes do. Many believe that all one must do is believe in Jesus Christ and they are saved, without doing anything themselves. This view will have the devil and the evil spirits that Jesus cast out saved, for they all understood Jesus to be the Son of God. Jesus once asked the question, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). Any and all who do not obey the gospel of Christ shall suffer eternal damnation. Paul told the Thessalonians that, “…when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction…” (II Thess. 1:7-9). For some, obedience is only practiced when they agree with what the Bible teaches and they see rationale behind the commands. Whether it is what one has always been taught and believed or even if it is something they can’t see the reason for, if God’s word says do it, that requires obedience. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

And, what is your attitude toward the church? To many, the church is really not important. However, one cannot separate Christ from His church. When Saul of Tarsus had been persecuting the church (Acts 9:1-2; I Cor. 15:9), the Lord asked him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 9:4). The church is the body of Christ, over the which He is the head (Eph. 1:22-23). Some have the one church is as good as another attitude of the church. But, Jesus said, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). In the pages of the New Testament, there are a number of congregations of the church mentioned, but there is only the one church that Jesus build, over the which He is the head, into which the Lord adds the saved (Acts 2:47; I Cor. 12:18) that Jesus is the saviour of (Eph. 5:23).

Other matters could be addressed, but please examine yourselves (II Cor. 13:5) to see if you have the proper attitude concerning the three that we have mentioned. It just may be possible that some of us need to have an attitude adjustment!

By Robert C. Oliver

Contributing columnist
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