Monday, June 27, 2016

Attitude And People

Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
(Isaiah 6:5)

I called a business the other day for some information. The person who answered the phone clearly didn't have a very high opinion of me. Her tone was condescending. She sighed heavily as I tried to clarify. It was clear she didn't want to help me, so I let her off the hook. I told her I would call back. Five minutes later I did. Another person answered the phone. We had never met, but she clearly thought I was worth talking to. She found what I needed, and we had a great conversation.

Attitude toward others is huge at home. Ever heard a husband speak condescendingly to his wife (or a wife to a husband)? It's embarrassing. Ever heard a wife or husband speak with love in their voice? It's encouraging. Attitude is huge at work. It sure made a difference in my dealings with the business I mentioned above. Attitude toward others is everything in a Christian's life.

Yesterday as I sang during our worship service, God seemed to speak to me, reminding me about Isaiah. When Isaiah saw the Lord glorified in Heaven, his attitude changed. His opinion about himself was humbled, "I am a man of unclean lips." But, what about his attitude toward the people he served, "and live among a people of unclean lips"?  You could read that as a pastoral rebuke, "I live among dirty, rotten, rebellious people," but not if you read the context.

Isaiah was humbled, and while he confessed the sinfulness of his people, he also confessed that he and they were standing on level ground. In the presence of God, it became clear that no one was holy. No one superior. He was not a God follower condescending to godless people. He was a God follower by the grace of God alone.

While every follower of Christ needs the boldness of the Holy Spirit to speak about God, we also need something in addition. We need to be humbled about ourselves. We must not think we are superior to those we serve, lead or those to whom we witness. If we are, they will know. We need boldness, humility, and compassion. Compassion caring for another person because you identify with them

We need to be regularly reminded that the only difference between someone who is lost and someone who is saved is this. One is a sinner with a Savior. The other is a sinner in need of a Savior. Get that attitude in you, and your heart will be filled with the Love of Christ, and they will know that, too. Oh, by the way, it won't just change your witness or your home. It will change your life.