Brian Harpell

In looking at this picture, what do you see? Do you see a hole in the ground?

Or do you see a bale of hay.

Which one did you see first?

It is all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?

Attitude is a little like this. Attitude is our perspective on things. Our attitude is the choice we make on how we see things.

We can choose to always see things in a negative light. Or we can choose to see things in a positive light. Out attitude is the lens through which we look at things.

As we’ve looked at the Apostle Paul, in this study of Philippians, we’ve seen how he chose to focus not at the circumstances around Him, but to focus on the God who was in him, and doing a good work in him. 

In Philippians 1:12-14, the Apostle Paul writes: “12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”

Note that Paul did not focus on the unfairness of his incarceration. He did not spend any time complaining about being confined and chained. He didn’t blame God for what was happening to him.

No! Paul chose to look at the positive. He chose to see that because of his imprisonment in Rome that he had the opportunity to share the Gospel with the whole palace guard. His imprisonment was serving to advance the Gospel. And he saw something else. He saw that his boldness in witnessing encouraged and emboldened other believers. What a positive attitude!  

He goes on to write, in Philippians 1:15-18: “15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.”

Once again, the Apostle reveals his positive attitude. Instead of focusing on the bad motivation of others, he chose to focus on the fact that regardless of the motivation, Christ was being preached. And because of this, he says, “I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.”

Your attitude and my attitude is a choice. Our attitude is a choice about what we will look for and focus on.

So, let me leave you with this application and exercise. While in this season of the corona virus pandemic, there are plenty of problems. The fact is, there are also plenty of opportunities. Which will you focus on? Will you choose to focus on the problems? Or will you choose to focus on the possibilities.

In this season of the corona virus pandemic, there are also plenty of possibilities. Take a moment right now to think. Think about some of the positive things that are happening right now. Write two or three things down and begin to focus on them!