Drop the Attitude

Drop the Attitude

Has anyone ever told you to “drop the attitude?” If they have, have mercy on them. I can only imagine that did not go over well!

There are certainly times when a bad attitude is fully warranted, even if someone else disagrees. But unfortunately if we’re not careful, we can get in the habit of being grumpy or negative all the time, whether it’s justified or not. Such negativity not only impacts our heart and our happiness, but can also leak out onto the people around us, damaging relationships.

In today’s Proverbs 31 devotion, A Seriously Bad Attitude, I shared about a season of life a couple years ago when I found myself feeling negative, disgruntled, and frustrated – every. single. day. I was fed up with the seemingly never ending storms that kept slamming into my life. If I’m being honest, I was fed up with God allowing bad things to keep happening. It was right about that time when I came across the verse in James 1 about viewing our troubles as opportunities for great joy. Say what? No thank you.

But as I mentioned in the devotion, God used that truth to open my eyes to the fact that I had a choice – either keep living with a bad attitude, or don’t. There was no denying that I seemed to have more than my fair share of problems and worries, but I didn’t have to let those problems and worries sink my faith, my joy, or my happiness. I couldn’t control my circumstances, but I could control my thoughts about them. And so can you – even if it seems impossible. It just takes intentionality, practice, perseverance and faith.

Life is never going to be perfect or problem free, and thankfully that is not the recipe for real joy. Real joy comes when we realize that, yes, sometimes life is going to stink. It’s going to be unfair. It’s going to be challenging. But we can still have peace and joy, despite life, if we ask God for those gifts and then pursue a change in the way we think.

One strategy I talk a lot about in my book Unsinkable Faith, involves three simple steps to begin a mind (aka bad attitude) transformation:

  • Recognize – ask God to help you begin recognizing each time you have a negative thought, albeit big or small
  • Reject – refuse to think that way; tell yourself you will no longer think that negative thought
  • Replace – take that negative thought and turn it around; replace it with something positive instead, even its hard

From personal experience I can promise you, that if you put this little strategy into place day after day, week after week, that one day someone will say to you, “you are always smiling and joy filled, no matter what – how do you do it?” That’s the kind of person I want to be. Don’t you?

Might you be struggling with a bad attitude today? Might it be time to drop it? Imagine what life would be like, and how your relationships might flourish, if your attitude was one that exuded optimism, joy, and kindness everywhere you went. How do you think your life might change for the better? Leave your comments on the blog! 

 

21 Comments

  1. Suzanne on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8:08 am

    I need this so badly. 2 yrs ago my hair stand had surgery for 3b lung cancer. We went through the entire treatments and all… We have been married 34 yrs .he is a extremely successful and talented respected physician. Lots of prayers and support. We have4 great kids , 2 grandchildren. Great family that adores their dad. . In December 2018 he dropped the bombshell that he was HIV positive. Then learned he has full blown AIDS. He has been seeing various prostitutes for the past 4-5 years. He is on treatment and doing well. No one knows of all this. It has to be kept secret to protect him from all the shame, disgrace, and problem that it would cause professionally.
    Joy has been hard for me lately. Your words are hope I can crawl out of this darkness and live again. It’s so lonely in here.



    • Debbey on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 9:55 am

      I am so sorry to read your story Suzanne. Mine is a but similar in that I too found out my husband was not who I thought he was after 30+ years of marriage. We tried working through things with counseling for several years but to no avail. My husband has narcissistic personality disorder. I was ready to finally leave when he got the diagnosis of stage 4 cancer. I felt God calling me to stay but it has now been 3+ years of staying with an emotionally abusive man who I no longer trust and I have to care for. What I want to say is I do at times have a complaining and negative attitude, I’m human and I think it’s normal, BUT I’m choosing not to stay in that place. God has brought me through all the pain thus far and will be faithful to get me through this as well. He will be faithful to you also. Stay so very close to Him. Even when you feel angry or disillusioned, He can take it. Let him bind your wounds and He will use this horrible part of what’s happened in your life to minister to others some day and will bring beauty from the ashes. As Tracie said, we can’t control our circumstances but we can control how we respond. You are a beautiful woman of God and He sees that. H.O.P.E. = Hang On Pain Ends.



      • Tracie Miles on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8:31 pm

        So sorry for all you’re going through Suzanne and thanks to Debbey for sharing her beautiful thoughts. Feeling alone with secrets is certainly not a fun place to be. I’m sorry Debbey for what you’re going through as well. Both situations are equally hard in different ways. Praying for you both to find strength, joy and hope that things will get better and God is still at work. Im so blessed to know the post and devotion touched both of your hearts today.



    • Debbey on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 9:59 am

      I am so sorry to read your story Suzanne. Mine is a bit similar in that I too found out my husband was not who I thought he was after 30+ years of marriage. We tried working through things with counseling for several years but to no avail. My husband has narcissistic personality disorder. I was ready to finally leave when he got the diagnosis of stage 4 cancer. I felt God calling me to stay but it has now been 3+ years of staying with an emotionally abusive man who I no longer trust and I have to care for. What I want to say is I do at times have a complaining and negative attitude, I’m human and I think it’s normal, BUT I’m choosing not to stay in that place. God has brought me through all the pain thus far and will be faithful to get me through this as well. He will be faithful to you also. Stay so very close to Him. Even when you feel angry or disillusioned, He can take it. Let him bind your wounds and He will use this horrible part of what’s happened in your life to minister to others some day and will bring beauty from the ashes. As Tracie said, we can’t control our circumstances but we can control how we respond. You are a beautiful woman of God and He sees that. H.O.P.E. = Hang On Pain Ends.



  2. Suzanne on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8:10 am

    *husband



    • Carol Ritchie on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8:53 am

      Suzanne, I read your words and my heart aches for you. I can only tell you that, though I have not been in this very same situation, I did find out things about my first husband that left me where you are. However, I can tell you that God loves you, He sees you, He knows exactly what you are feeling because He knows the uniqueness of you. He loves you enough to be there with His arms wrapped around you with any and every thought and emotion that you are having and believe me, my favorite word in the English language is “through” He will see you through this. With that in mind I have always been told when reading this verse in James, ” The verse says consider IT all joy, not feel the joy”- meaning it is an action word not an emotional word. ( I hope I said that clearly. I just prayed for you and your family.



      • Carol Ritchie on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8:58 am

        After typing this post I began to read today’s “OUR DAILY BREAD” which can be found at:

        https://connect.xfinity.com/appsuite/#!!&app=io.ox/mail/detail&folder=default0/INBOX&id=1225504

        It is a bit of a continuation, of sorts, to what we read by Tracie.



  3. Sheri on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8:33 am

    God sent your message to me today. I have battled with chronic Lyme and other “invisible illness” that nobody’ understands for over two years. The depression has been awful. I have seriously considered taking my life. Was doing better and was so hopeful and now I seem to have crashed back to square one. Am praying I can do this and slowly turn my thoughts around. Thank you for the glimmer of hope.



    • Tracie Miles on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8:37 pm

      Sheri – Im so sad for what you’re experiencing. I am praying that God will make His presence known so boldly in your life and that He will guide you to receive any help needed to make things better, while restoring your joy and hope in Him and in yourself. Changing our thoughts takes time but it can happen for all of us!

      I know life can be incredibly hard, and there are times you might feel like it’s not worth living but there is help for your situation. God loves you so desperately and offers incredible grace and strength in times of need that we could never muster up on our own.

      It’s ok to need and ask for help. Although I can’t offer counseling nor can anyone at Proverbs 31 since we are not a counseling ministry, if you feel that you would benefit, please contact Focus on the Family’s counseling services or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text the word NAMI to 741741 for someone to text you back and communicate with you about options to help you in your situation.

      For more resources, please see below:

      afsp.org – A suicide prevention site you may contact for resources to assist you during your struggle if you feel like giving up today.

      aacc.net – This site can help you find a counselor in your area by zip code.

      Hold on, sweet friend. There is hope.



  4. Christie Widenhouse on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8:47 am

    All so true in its seeming like bad things never stop occurring, and one after the other
    I love your suggestion of going forward with this using the 3Rs:
    * recognize
    * reject/refuse
    * replace

    This can be held as a very useful tool when I am having what seems to be a bad attitude.
    Thank You Tracie. ????



    • Tracie Miles on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8:38 pm

      Thank you Christie!!!



  5. Lynn on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8:48 am

    I struggle with issues at home and at work and have health complications because of it. I have tried all that you have said. Right thinking, keeping negative thoughts out and replacing with positive but I get right back into the same old rut. Today it hit me! I can’t do this! But God can! I’m giving my thoughts to God to sort out because trying to do this under my own strength is simply not working and it’s totally exhausting!



    • Tracie Miles on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8:40 pm

      Lynn that’s so true! You might want to check out my book Stressed Less Living: Finding God’s Peace in Your Chaotic World. I talk a lot about how so many issues and stress in life cause health complications but there is hope to have victory over those thoughts and feelings!



  6. Elizabeth Richardson on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Thank you for this! I love what you said about the James 1 passage. I have felt that way more than once. I love that God spoke to you from this passage showing you that you have a choice. That is what I needed to hear today. I have a choice to make with each hardship and situation.



  7. Melissa Henderson on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Thank you Tracie for your words of encouragement. 🙂



  8. Tammy on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    I have been struggling with a bad attitude for 18 months, that’s how long ago I found that my husband was having an affair. I do believe that the bad attitude and sadness has consumed my life and i truly don’t know how to be a happy person. Sure I smile and put on that happy face, but inside my heart is crumbling. We are trying to work it out with counseling and praying, but it is so hard. I never would have thought that this would happen to my marriage. EVER. It’s hard to understand the why, why me, why our marriage? Yes I did the bible study and have read Lysa’s book and I do find some peace with it. But I then look at Lysa and I want what she has. How did she overcome this, renewing there vows and looking so happy. Every circumstance is different, i know. Every person deals with emotions differently as well. I am not sure I can truly let this go. What if he forgets what he did to me and does it again, I forgave him once. What if he thinks he has gotten away with it? Does that mean I am an evil person because I don’t want him to forget the pain he has caused me? I want to be happy, but am I not ready to be? How will I know?



    • Tracie Miles on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8:49 pm

      Tammy, your feelings are so valid and 18 months is not a long time at all, so keep working on pursuing a positive attitude and controlling your thoughts but give yourself time and grace to heal. I struggled with all of those ‘why’ questions as does anyone in this situation (or another hard circumstance), as well as everything else you mentioned. Just remember every person’s marriage situation is different, and all spouses are different, so although it’s normal to wonder why someone else receives a blessing we wanted, it’s a stumbling block to compare ourselves to others. Reconciliation doesn’t always happen and both spouses have to be fully on board for true reconciliation to be possible, and unfortunately that’s not always the case in many, many marriages. Forgiving is hard and takes time, it never means forgetting the pain, it just makes the pain seem less as you focus on it and try to move forward. Continue to pray and ask God for guidance in making decisions that will lead you to happiness, and remember to always take care of you along the way. Hugs to you friend.



  9. Rachel on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I needed an attitude adjustment today!



  10. Donna on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    Your message was very good sorry to hear about the other lady but know you can not do it with out going to the Lord and it not easy just take it minute by minute .



  11. Sarah Delooze on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Thank you so much for writing your book unsinkable faith it was my first ever Christian book iv read, im using your techniques daily and journailing and whilst i am in a long drawn out storm at the moment its really helped me to connected and pray to God more. I loved it so much iv just bought another of your books ” your life still counts” im so loving my new deeper connection with Jesus and God a million thank yous Tracey and I cant wait to get stuck in to your next book either



  12. JosephLance on Sunday, March 24, 2019 at 11:53 am

    jymp click here



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Tracie Miles is a bestselling author and the Director of COMPEL Training with Proverbs 31 Ministries.  She helps women grow stronger in their faith, pursue the life of purpose God designed them for and live a life of peace, joy and happiness despite their circumstances.

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