Attitude Adjustment

Jeff Rasche

You know you need an attitude adjustment when . . .

  • you only have one nerve left, and everyone is getting on it.
  • you begin to suspect that even your dog has turned against you.
  • your little brothers and sisters sit quietly when you’re around and don’t even try to irritate you.
  • you watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island and can’t figure out why they even want to get off the island.
  • the pastor preaches a sermon called “The Be-Happy-Attitudes”—and every time you glance up at her, she is looking straight at you.
  • somebody gives you “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” for your birthday.
  • your mom always has to turn on the light when she comes into your room and keeps suggesting that you look good in other colors besides black.
  • angry ape Ftr TSP 153484620you overhear your dad ask you mom, “Did you wake up grumpy this morning?” and your mom replies, “No, I’m letting him sleep in”—and they both laugh.
  • you notice people mouthing the words along with you, “I don’t know, and I don’t care.”
  • your uncle, who is the biggest grouch in the family, tells you to cheer up and offers to take you out for ice cream.
  • your dad asks, “What’s the best thing that happened to you today?” and the only thing you can come up with is getting your braces adjusted.

We Asked: What attitude do you have the toughest time keeping “in check”?

Angry Teen Explodes Ftr TSP 140018640“. . . my temper! I tend to take things the wrong way or to be too sensitive. I have to remember that other people have bad days and get upset, too; I am not the only one.” —A., 16, Virginia

“When someone isn’t paying attention to me, I kinda get mad.” —Tiffani, 15, Texas

“. . . my ungratefulness. Instead of being grateful for what I have, I’m jealous of those who have more. I should realize how well off I am compared to the poor and destitute in this country and others.” —Mike, 16, Delaware

“. . . my attitude toward schoolwork. My procrastination gets way out of hand; and by the time I get started on my studies, I’ve waited so long that my work doesn’t get finished. For example, I should be studying right now instead of answering this question! HA! HA! I think I’ll go study now. SERIOUSLY!” —Adrienne, 17, Texas



Angry Betrayed Girl FTR TSP 147070715There are many different attitudes that we can have. Some can hurt us or others; some can help. In his famous book, The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale relates story after story to demonstrate the powerful impact our attitudes can have on

  • whether other people find us interesting to be with.
  • the kind of job we get and our satisfaction with it.
  • our general health and well-being.

Read Philippians 4:4–9. If you are keeping a journal, try this: Divide your page into two columns. In the left column, list some of the attitudes that Paul recommends. In the right column, list the opposites of these attitudes. For example, if you write “Don’t worry about anything” in the left column, then write something like “Fret and stew all night long about every possible problem you can think of” in the right column. When you are finished, compare the two lists. Ask yourself, Which kind of person do I want to become? Ask God to help you have positive, healthy, Christian attitudes.

Jeff Rasche , of Camp Point, Illinois, is an expert in attitude adjustments and can always find a way to make you smile!

—from devozine (September/October 1998). Copyright © 1998 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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