What follows is summary highlights from a book entitled, Lord, Change My Attitude: Before It's Too Late (James MacDonald. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008).
Introduction: Negative murmuring attitudes will keep you in the wilderness (negative place), but positive attitudes of praise will get you to the Promised Land (positive place). People tend not to do the hard work of changing, until they are convinced that what they are doing is not working.
Attitudes are patterns of thinking formed over a long period of time. Replace bad with good (see I Cor. 10:1-3, 7-10), now. Forty days of negative thinking led to forty years in the wilderness (see Num. 14:34).
Luke 17:11-19 is the key text. Everyone can choose to be grateful. In vs. 19, the grateful person has an expressed wellness that others do not have. Faith grows in the soil of thankfulness. We should be mindful of God being our gracious provider. Being unthankful is terrible (see Rom. 1:21). If employees do not feel appreciated, bonuses are worthless. An attitude of gratitude towards God helps with personal well-being. Gratitude is showing that a kindness received is valued.
There are three levels of gratitude. 1. Elementary - the sacrifice of thanksgiving or the duty of praise (see Heb. 13:15). 2. High school - thank God for the good that you see (see I Thess. 5:18). This is good, as long as you can see something good. 3. Graduate school - be thankful for all things, because you trust God to work things out (see Eph. 5:18, 20). Lessons from Psalms 107:8 - 1. Thankfulness is a decision. 2. The decision is based on a reality. 3. Thankfulness is a life changing decision. Write out five things to be thankful for everyday.
Discussion Questions regarding Gratitude (use extra paper as needed):
1. What definition for “gratitude” is given, in the thankful paragraph?
2. Describe the three levels of gratitude listed above. At which level are you?
3. Explain how Matthew 12:43-45 could be used as a text to support replacing a complaining attitude with an attitude of gratitude.
4. What else would you like to share about an attitude of gratitude?
Conclusion: So many people want “Promised Land blessings,” but have “Wilderness attitudes.” Let’s work on our attitudes.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.