I often think of my attitude as something that just happens, something that cannot be controlled or anticipated. I see, hear, or think something and then my attitude responds. This is an easy way of thinking about attitude. It excuses whatever I feel and says that my attitude is an accurate and justifiable reflection of my circumstances. It allows me to avoid examining whether I have a heart that is in line with God's perspective.
In reality, I think that long-term attitude is largely a choice. My instinctual response does not have to be my permanent response. I can cast off my spirit of despair, criticism, and negativity and put on a garment of praise. Instead of focusing on problems and flaws, I can focus on God's grace and faithfulness.
The best part of putting on a garment of praise is that it doesn't mean that I keep from taking action to fix problems that I encounter. It doesn't make me a doormat. What it does mean is that my attitude when I encounter problems is vastly different. I can encourage rather than critique. I can be positive and optimistic about change rather than expecting disappointment.
A garment of praise takes me from despair to joy. My actual circumstances may not change at all, but I change, and my perspective changes. My focus shifts from the details to the King, from the tiny, fleeting things to the most significant, most enduring thing. Nothing changes, except everything.
Are you putting on a garment of praise?
Isaiah 61: 1a, 3
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to...provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of splendor.