Recently, I have been thinking about the effect “attitude” plays in a missionary’s life. We send missionaries out to challenging places, and I believe a massive part of their success can be attributed to the way they view God, each other, and their circumstances (in other words: attitude). Some seem to be discouraged about everything. Thankfully, the majority dig down from a deep well of optimism and godly joy in order to not just survive the dark times but thrive and produce tremendous fruit. Praise the Lord!
I have published various reflections before on attitude in our Spanish blog (if you’d like the English versions, let me know):
- Dr. Louie Bustle wrote about holiness and a “sanctified attitude.”
- Dr. Howard Culbertson insightfully dived into Jonah’s sour attitude and how it should serve as a warning to any missionary.
- Dr. Stephen Manley described the importance of an attitude of submission to the Great Commission.
As you can tell, attitude is a crucial indicator for missions success. With that in mind, here is a poem I came across from Chuck Swindoll, the great pastor, author, educator, and radio preacher. I hope you’ll use it to reflect on – and perhaps adjust – your own attitude, in spite of the difficulties swirling around you.
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past, than education, than money,
than circumstances, than failure, than successes,
than what other people think or say to do.
It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.
It will make or break a company…a church…a home.
The remarkable thing is we all have a choice every day regarding
The attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past.
We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the string that we have,
and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me…
and 90 percent how I react to it.