Our Attitude or Outlook Has Consequences

W. Terry Varner
October 7, 2012

Webster defines outlook as, “Mental view or attitude." How do you evaluate the daily happenings in your life? Realize that how you do depends upon attitude. You can be positive and enjoy the fruits of optimism, or you can be negative and suffer the consequences of pessimism.

For some people every day is “Blue Monday.” Their favorite hymn contains the words, “Troublesome times are here . . . .” The only thing they are sure about is that things will get worse.

Our outlook or attitude is at the foundation of all that we do or aspire to be. Our outlook or attitude determines how we handle the setbacks of life, and we all have them, and the successes in life, and we all have them. Christians need to be positive and not negative as we live the Christian life. Negativism dulls our edge.

Consequence of a wrong outlook. Israel sent 12 men to view and evaluate the conditions in Canaan. Fresh out of Egypt and on their way to the Promised Land, they selected and sent 12 spies to Canaan to spy out the land (Numbers 13:1-24). These were leaders and after 40 days they returned with fruits and evaluation of Canaan (Numbers 13:25-29).

Their evaluation became a point of controversy. Ten of the spies said, “Yet the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; and besides we saw the descendants of Anak there” (Numbers 13:28-29).

However, two spies, Joshua and Caleb believed otherwise. Caleb “quieted the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once, and occupy it; for we are well able to overcome it”’ (Numbers 13:30). From this point on matters degenerated. The people murmured and desired to return to Egyptian slavery (Numbers 14:1-3) and God’s anger of destroying the nation of Israel was stopped only by the intercession of Moses (Numbers 14:4-19). The consequence, Israel wandered 40 years in the wilderness (Num. 14:20-38).

The ten spies could only see obstacles instead of possibilities with God’s help. If God brought them out of bondage in Egypt, then surely God was able to handle their taking Canaan. Israel experienced what each and everyone of us experience—the choice of outlook. We may not be able to control all the external happenings in our life, but we are in total control of how we respond ton them. We cannot keep another from hating or abusing us if they so choose, but we can treat them right and no one can stop us from doing so.

The importance of attitude or outlook. The following are important concerning our outlook.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms—To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”—Dr. Viktor Frank.

“Everything in your life will depend on your attitude. Happiness depends not on things around you, but on your attitude. . . . Our attitudes control our lives. . . . Mental attitudes are more important than mental capacity”—AIfi‘ed A. Montapert.

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by changing their attitude or mind”-—William James.

“Our attitude is indeed one of greatest attributes and it can help us get where we are going, to achieve our goal; but, we must work diligently on our attitude and develop it to its fullest”—D. Paul Reilly.