Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 126 - Developing a Humble Attitude
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #126 – Developing a Humble Attitude
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to seek, find, and follow Jesus together as we live with purposed eternal perspective.
As I was in the office one recent evening, I heard the sounds of my family chatting in the kitchen. My husband had arrived home from work a bit earlier and was doing a few things with the girls. As their voices floated into my hearing, one of my daughters asked him, “Is there anything I can help you with?” It’s not unusual for her to do this as she often looks for ways to help others.
Matthew 23:11-12 says, “The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
This world makes it so easy, so enticing to cling to self, to make ourselves known, or put ourselves first. In fact, our culture encourages this practice. Yet God, in His perfect wisdom, instructs us to do the opposite. Our attitude is not to reflect the values and teachings of this world.
Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Have you personally experienced (or seen through others) that the more we exalt self, the more pressure we actually feel? Our spirit becomes increasingly demanding for more attention to self. By carrying this attitude, we add demands to our time and resources. Yet when we humble ourselves and simply serve from a heart for God and others, we experience joy and freedom.
Here’s one example from my life that shows how attitude affects self and others. When my middle daughter was young and begged to participate in a natural pageant system, I was torn. We had no idea what to expect. We checked the system out, spoke to women who had allowed their children to take part in the system, and met with the people who ran the program. Everything was family-focused and safe. There was no makeup or swimsuits, and the girls were encouraged to compete in the good ways, using gifts and talents God gave them. The girls were also encouraged to serve in the community and they learned valuable public speaking and interview skills that would serve them well throughout life.
Like any hobby or sport, pageants can get expensive. As we looked for wardrobe, which is a major piece in pageant competitions, we happened to find a dress my daughter absolutely loved and had seen in magazine photos on Craigslist. The gown was selling at at a very low price, so we met the seller and tried the dress on. It fit perfectly! I made my daughter a little interview suit out of beautiful peacock-colored fabric she selected and she helped design the pattern of the suit. As complete pageant novices, we carefully prepared for everything we thought we would need, but just before it was time to leave to compete at the pageant, she had a growth spurt and the beautiful dress of her dreams was now about three inches too short! We kept that special dress and my daughter wore it onstage with flats.
We made several other rookie mistakes as well, but our girl still had an absolutely wonderful time and won many awards, as well as the second runner-up to the state queen title. As we learned more about the pageant world, we experienced that there is much more involved than what people perceive when watching on television or mentally judging the pageant contestants. We met many wonderful mothers and daughters, who just like us, wanted their child to find encouragement and support as they also used their talents and interests.
What really stood out for my daughter and me, as she went on to do other pageants was that we quickly learned the more we gave to and served others, the more peace and joy we experienced in our own life. It became less about competition and more of a way to grow her skills and serve our community. While in the beginning I admit, I just wanted my daughter to win, cheering for the daughters of other women later became easy. My prayers were for them to also do the best they could. Instead of isolating ourselves or using the competition for the sole purpose of advancing personal interests or goals, my daughter and I learned that an attitude focused on God and others brought deeper relationship and joy. As my daughter served others she competed against, as well as the community, it deepened my faith roots and allowed my daughter to gain incredible interview, speaking, organizational, and service gifts. The experience grew our love for others, multiplying and deepening our love for the Lord because our hearts were being molded to become a little more like His.
Philippians 2:2-4 says, “Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
As my daughter competed, growing her capabilities and confidence, I learned much about myself. As a believer, I like to think I try to keep my mind and heart in alignment with Christ, but I began to understand ways my thoughts were actually far from his. When my daughter performed, I prayed that all went well for her. Of course, I didn’t want anything bad to happen to the other girls she competed against, but in my heart, I wanted my daughter to win, and I thought she should.
Over time, God shaped me in new ways as He grew her capabilities. Love for my girl pushed me to desire the best for her, but I learned that sometimes the best for her wasn’t the best for someone else. Each of the girls deserved God’s very best for their life. I felt God working in me and my daughter, and we truly began to enjoy the other competitors and their mothers. We began offering tips to help them, even when they competed against my girl, and we cheered for them with true support as they performed onstage.
Soon, we developed what I considered true friendships with the other girls and their mothers. Joy was felt for them, even when other girls did better than my daughter or placed higher in the estimation of the judges. I finally understood that in God’s eyes, what mattered was how we treated others at the competition, whether He was honored in our heart and mind as we interacted with them through the week, and how we grew our walk with Him in the process.
Attitudes spring from many places. Our desires, thoughts, feelings, and emotions can get so twisted and confusing. It’s no wonder that our mood and mindset can easily shift like the wind. Often, our attitude is birthed by pain, abuse, trauma, trials, tragedies, or greed. Even fun activities like pageants, sports, jobs, or hobbies can bring out unexpected attitudes. If we aren’t actively seeking a heart like Jesus, believing His estimation of us and striving to be more like Him, even a funny look or a harsh word from another person can trigger an attitude.
Philippians 2:2-5 says, “Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”
It's not easy to consistently put others before self. Of course, as a parent, that’s the easiest time, but what about a stranger? What about someone who has offended you? What about someone who receives something you wanted? When we put others first, our attitude is adjusted into a mindset of giving and serving. It’s difficult to hold resentments and self-serving desires when we are intentionally renewing our mind and actions daily to align with those of the Lord. It’s impossible to get through a day without needing Him to carry or craft our attitude in some capacity.
In my personal life, I think the fastest way to affect my attitude is usually letting myself get over tired or very hungry. One recent evening I was both. On my way to the kitchen, I walked to the entryway area of our home without any lights on and I didn’t realize our Golden Retriever was laying outside the office door. When I stepped out of the office I tripped over him, almost falling to the ground and twisting my back to keep from doing so, I spilled half of my tea on the floor. I could feel the snap in my attitude. Immediately I wanted to be cranky. Thankfully, I had just been in the office working on this very podcast. I had just been reading verses about the mind and attitude of Christ. I had been praying about what to write and deliver God’s message. As I spoke the word, “seriously” aloud, I knew my thoughts and emotions were headed in the wrong direction, which would surely pull my attitude down as well. Only because I had the foundation of being in the Word and an already prayerful attitude was I able to pull my thoughts back to a godlier place and keep from complaining to my family or scolding the dog, who thought he was doing me a favor by keeping me company.
What happens when we aren’t relying on the Lord to sustain and protect us? We can quickly fall victim to tantrums, outbursts, or actions we later regret. Even when we are walking closely with God we sometimes fall victim to needing attitude adjustments. It’s so important to purposely focus on keeping the mind of Christ.
Through Christ, and our relationship with Him, we are able to do as Colossians 3:10 says. “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” The cloak of pleasant attitude only fits when we are in shape by exercising the power of God’s word and actively maturing our walk with Him through Jesus. Through our salvation in Christ we see that He is able to work within us, equipping us to do all He speaks and models for us. Hebrews 6:10 says, “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. “
The fastest way to hurt someone else is to let our unchecked attitude affect them.
Many things cause attitudes that need adjustment. Embarrassment, disappointment, rejection, expectations, fear, anger, trauma, hardship, control, failure, illness, jealousy, loneliness, sleeplessness, or hunger are just some of the main culprits that cause us to look to self and experience attitude. Whenever we think of ourselves before others or fail to reside in the mindset of the Holy Spirit, our mindset is always affected in a negative way.
I believe there are 5 points to remember in order to build a humble attitude.
1. Superiority – Knowing we are each equal in the eyes of God and that His love is the same for everyone allows us to see others with eyes and heart that better mirror Jesus.
2. Survival – Taking care of ourselves so that we do not fall victim to being over-tired or hungry and exercising and eating right so that we are less apt to get sick keeps our attitude steadier.
3. Selfishness – Studying and knowing Christ - learning that there is joy in living as Jesus did. Thinking of others before self brings us closer to our Heavenly Father and allows us to experience Him in deeper ways as we also draw nearer to others we may not have known otherwise.
4. Sin – Humbling ourself before God, allowing Him to free us from the bondage of sins that may be enveloping us brings freedom that develops an attitude more like Christ.
5. Standing – When we know, believe, and reside in the value Christ sees in us we are better equipped to keep a steady attitude built on His truths and commands.
Jesus fills the voids in our heart if we look to Him. He is the answer to bringing or restoring an even attitude that is pleasing to others and a delight to Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the love You freely give. Thank you for the mindset shifts You work in us as we rely on You. Help us to continue to seek Your strength in every area of life. We know we will never be without our need for You and we are so thankful for that knowledge. We need You so much more than we even know. I thank you for the times You have shown us Your grace and love. Help us to extend that grace and love to those around us. Help us to carry the attitude of Christ and see others with Your eyes and heart. Enable us to see that attitude winds through everything we do and help us to be more pleasing in Your eyes each day. We humbly ask for Your wisdom and discernment to carry us and Your beautiful attitude to craft our thoughts and actions. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this podcast. If you find value in what you hear, and you would like more information on the topic we discussed today, I invite you to listen to these previous episodes: Episode 002, “Protecting Our Thoughts,” Episode 008, “A Humble Spirit,” and Episode 012, “Complaint Fosters Rebellion.” Just visit terrihitt.com, click on “podcasts” and type in the topic or title you wish to hear about in the search bar at the top of the page.
Remember that the Live With Eternal Perspective podcast may be found at terrihitt.com, but is also a part of the Spark Media Network, and now the podcast may be found on the Edifi app, where you can find thousands of the best Christian podcasts in one place for your listening enjoyment.
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I also want to ask if you have you listened to my second podcast, “Purposed Parent/Connected Child” yet? I hope you will listen to this new podcast, especially if you are raising children or influencing grandchildren. Please follow and share both of my podcasts with friends or family who would like to choose Christ over culture and be a parent (or be a grandparent) who connects with eternal purpose.
Remember, if we are not purposed in knowing Jesus ourselves and showing Him to the next generation, the world will direct them away from Christ. Live With Eternal Perspective helps us to find, trust, and follow Christ more intimately. Purposed Parent/Connected Child shares biblical, practical truths for parents and grandparents to influence and mentor Christ over culture.
I pray that what you hear on this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.