"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Attitude, High View of God, Learning & Questioning

I love people who have a good attitude about nearly everything. Whether they are going through wonderful times or dealing with annoying situations (such as car trouble or the phone company getting the bill all wrong) or going through times of heartache, they just seem able to take to heart Paul's instruction to give thanks in everything.   I get the impression Paul just had a high view of God and to him our earthly problems paled in comparison.  

I suppose this quote goes along with that:

"A low view of God is the cause of a hundred lesser evils.  A high view of God is the solution to ten thousand temporal problems."    -- A.W. Tozer

If only I could remember these problems are temporary. But don't they seem overwhelming when we are going through them? Don't they just gnaw at our souls and make us feel uneasy?


Recently I read Primal and author Mark Batterson told of this positive outlook on life.  I really liked it and wanted to make it my own.  Attitude greatly influences how we go through life, doesn't it?  We choose to allow hard times to make us bitter or unthankful or blue.  But can't we also choose a grateful attitude? One that guards against resentment, bitterness and even crippling sadness? 

Hey, you don't have to tell me that that's not so easy.  I am an emotional person.  Quite melancholic, in fact.  So I recognize the struggle with choosing the thankful, joyful outlook in life.  I don't get a flat tire on the car and start shouting hallelujah.  My family can attest to how irritated, bitter and sad I can get.  But why choose to live this way when I don't have to?  

I liked this.

If you approach every person, every challenge, every situation with humble curiosity, it transforms each of them into a learning opportunity.  The outcome is no longer seen as success or failure, good or bad, positive or negative. The only measuring stick is this:  what did you learn from it? ...  I'm less afraid of failing, because I know it's the best form of education.  I'm less focused on getting out of situations and more focused on what I can get out of those situations. I'm less concerned with what I'm experiencing and more concerned with what I'm learning. Everyone and everything becomes part of my education.  God redeems them and uses them to shape me into the person He wants me to become.  And the learning process never ends.  (pg. 107)

Mark also wrote this which reminded me of some of you, my lovely questioning-and-learning friends.   :)


"The New Testament Greek word translated as 'disciple' comes from a root that means 'learner.'  By definition, a disciple is someone who never stops learning.  A true disciple makes the most of the hundred billion brain cells God has put on loan to him. A true disciple loves more because she knows more.  A true disciple is consumed with holy curiosity that doesn't take yes for an answer. The disciple keeps asking and seeking and knocking. And the quest is never over because the questions never end."  (pg. 107)


What are you currently questioning, seeking to learn, learning?  What things do you question most? What subjects do you enjoy learning about the most?  Do you tend to have a "what can I learn from this?" attitude when facing hard times?  How important is attitude in facing challenges in life?  Do you agree that a high view of God should help us during hard times?  Do you let it or do you tend to forget how big He is because your problems loom large? Do you agree with Tozer about a low view of God causing hundreds of lesser evils?

And in case you've not noticed, I do, in fact, enjoy learning from you.  And asking questions is often how I do that.   :-)

10 comments:

Candice said...

What a great post! So true what you say! I have been more miserable in much easier situations because of the attitude I had when I was going through it.

It's definitely worth putting effort into changing attitude and being thankful for what we get from every experience.

Sarah said...

I love your first quote from Mark Batterson in this post. Sounds almost Buddhist :P Haha!!

Seriously, it is something I am learning more and more. Like you, I tend to be a bit emotional and melancholic, but thankfully this seems to be changing, gradually. I think ironically, the more stuff that doesn't go right in my life, the more I learn to be flexible and less attached to particular outcomes. I also heartily recommend taking risks as a surprisingly good mood-improver :D

Wafa' said...

ok so i am gonna pretend that you have an interview with me and i am answering your questions one by one. cuz i tend to go away if i talk randomly, lol. i guess my other comments are a proof of that, so here are my answers:)

What are you currently questioning, seeking to learn, learning? .
I am not learning any thing new so far. it's all stuff i have known my whole life, i am just learning them again in harsher tones :)

What things do you question most?
I don't question, i only wonder. but then i keep reminding my self that things happen for a reason whether it's happening to me or to others. The reasons might not be just or fair but...

What subjects do you enjoy learning about the most?
I love learning about everything and everyone. i am very curious person and like to know all.
But mostly wish to know more about myself so i can guide it into a better haven :)

Do you tend to have a "what can I learn from this?" attitude when facing hard times?
i never ask cuz i have a mind that learn quickly and take lessons from any/every thing.

How important is attitude in facing challenges in life?
dunno, but sometimes we have to let go and face tough times the way it suposed to be ( screaming of joy or pain)

Do you agree that a high view of God should help us during hard times?
it should but i think -again- that we should let go. Those who high view of God during such times seems -sometimes - unrelastic to me. We are human and we are weak with hugh faults and we should act weakly sometimes.

Do you let it or do you tend to forget how big He is because your problems loom large?
He is always on my mind, believe me :)

Do you agree with Tozer about a low view of God causing hundreds of lesser evils?
not true.

Lat said...

Wonderful post,I must say!

We all learn from questioning.For myself I question most on religion,race and language.Perhaps because they're all connected :)
My hindu friend says people born with date 9 in them are of incessant questioning mind :) She says,why can't we just believe and let things be the way they are.But she admits that people born on these days are of loveble nature :D

Amber said...

Oh, very nice post. I agree that having a positive, 'this too shall pass' attitude, the ability to be grateful and cheerful in all situations is ideal. And I fall WAY WAY short of this ideal. I'm very 'negative'. I'm a pessimist by nature. People see the glass half full, I see that the glass is going to get knocked over and broken and that I'm going to have to clean up the pieces, while trying to keep morons from walking in the glass. *cocks eyebrow*

I've gotten better, mind. :)

As for learning, well, I think that we learn from everything, all our lives, so long as we allow ourselves to. One of the things that irritates me so much about my grandmother is, if you try to tell her a new piece of information, or have a conversation that introduces new thought and concepts to her, she just sighs and says her 'brain is full' and ignores whatever it is. *grr* People like that annoy me!

Susanne said...

Candice, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the post and could relate. Thanks for your comment. :)

Susanne said...

Sarah, ha, ha! Yeah, who knew Mark was a Buddhist Christian! :-P

I'm glad you shared your own experiences. Risk taking, huh? I need to give that a try more often. I tend to be stuck in a rut of safety though I yearn for more excitement. Perhaps you will encourage me to jump into the fire a bit. :)

Susanne said...

Wafa', oh good. I love interviewing you! :)

"I am not learning any thing new so far. it's all stuff i have known my whole life, i am just learning them again in harsher tones :)"

Ha, ha...what do you mean by harsher tones? To be more firm in your beliefs? I love how you express yourself. :-)

"i never ask cuz i have a mind that learn quickly and take lessons from any/every thing. "

That's great! I wish more people were this way!

"Do you agree with Tozer about a low view of God causing hundreds of lesser evils?"

I tend to agree with Tozer because only people who have low views of God can hurt others as one extreme example. If those people had a high view of God they would want to do right and avoid His wrath.

Thanks for sharing your points of view! I enjoyed your answers.

Susanne said...

Lat, I guess any of us born in the 1900s have a 9 in our date of birth! I know I tend to be inquisitive. I'm glad you can relate. I like those subjects you mentioned. Thanks for sharing. :)

Susanne said...

Amber, your comment made me literally laugh out loud. I was visualizing that glass falling and crunching under my feet! :-D You are too cute!

Yeah, I can see why your grandmother's attitude would annoy you.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Enjoyed your comment! :)

(Oh,I tend towards pessimism too so...I can relate. :))