The Attitude

"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5

The industry standard for an "Attitude Adjustment" in the early church was to realign a member of the church with the character of The Founder of the Church. This beats a Church Covenant nine ways from Dallas, any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

In other words, never lower the membership bar below the character of The Person of Jesus Christ. A church should strive to be the church Jesus would join if He moved into their town.

The Fruit of The Spirit turns a church into a Farmer's Market with an attractive aroma. The Spirit keeps Christ's church from becoming a machine shop turning out cheap replicas of the real deal. Filling the air with the odor of the sweat of the flesh and the sound of man-made machines may give an appearance of busyness, but a closer look reveals only barrenness.

The Attitude of Jesus is a life-changer for a believer and it is a game change for any church desiring to be marked by...

1. Encouragement
2. Consolation
3. Fellowship
4. Affection
5. Compassion
6. Single-minded
7. Love
8. Unity
9. Purpose
10. Unselfish
11. Humility
12. Deference

This is a short check list, but it serves as a biblical, working model for anyone interested in giving themselves a Spiritual Check Up. Comparing our character to anyone other than Jesus is a fool's errand. It is like a terminal patient comparing his death spiral to the patient in the bed next to him.

Note to self: Comforting yourself with the thought that you have a few more days left than the corpse next to you is neither death-defying or life-giving. Get over yourself, and pray to Jesus. Only He defies death and gives life.

Time and space will not allow a thorough analysis of all these character traits at this time. Grasping the first one is a great start at receiving The Attitude of Jesus.

Encouragement is the first whiff that most people get of a believer's life. It is also the first thing seekers see in the show windows of a local church. The problem emerges when seekers find a church has more in their show windows than they do on their shelves.

There is nothing quite like encountering the reality of the mine-field of attending a church, after having strolled through the fantasy land of their web-site. Things are not always what they appear to be, and truth in advertising is not a hallmark of church promotional campaigns.

Encouragement is the work of The Spirit of Christ, but most believers gather at churches that value the gift of discouragement. Their mission statement is formed by the seven last words of the church: "We never did it that way before."

Encouragement is more than a word of comfort given to shore up a person's morale through a difficult time. It is a blood transfusion for courageous living pumped into the lives of fearful people, transforming them into faithful people.

Encouragement should be the heart beat of every believer that claims to have Jesus living in their heart. A church that loses heart will not stand for what is right, and will run in the face of what is wrong. Without encouragement to stand, it is a safe bet that people will run. A church that is void of encouragement will lose its standing in a community, a country, and a culture EVERY TIME.

"We must not be content to be cleansed, but to be filled with The Spirit. The word Comforter as applied to the Holy Spirit needs to be translated by some vigorous term. Literally it means 'with strength.' Jesus promised his followers 'The Strengthener' would be with them. No lullaby for the faint-hearted. It is a blood transfusion for courageous living."
E.P. Hovey