How is Your Attitude?

My family and I took a day trip last week. As we drove to our destination, an 18-wheeler truck drove behind us, leaving a distance of less than two car links between our vehicles. The four-lane highway, like many of us, is under construction. Workers with orange vests, cement trucks, large construction trucks were lined up on both sides of the road. In other words, this highway is a very dangerous stretch for more than ten miles.

Each time we’d cautiously speed up to allow more room between our car and the 18-wheeler tailgating us, the trucker speeded up too.

“Why doesn’t that jerk just pass us?” I blurted out to my husband.

Hubby replied, “Oh honey, it’s too dangerous for him to pass us in the left lane, he might hit a worker on the center median.”

“Well, he may not hit a worker,” I said, “but he’s going to run into the back of us soon,” I said.

I looked out the back window again, and noticed the creep had inched even closer to us. Without consulting my husband, I lowered my window and stuck my head out, motioning with my hands to back off. The disrespectful, careless truck driver flashed an evil grin and just waved back at me.

Even in my highway wind tunnel, I heard my daughter loud and clear as she yelled “Mother, what were you thinking? Get your head back in the car. You’re only going to make that guy angry.”

Hmm, guess my response was not the best. Not to mention my windblown hair looked like an “afro do” from the 70s. Ah, you got me: My attitude toward the truck driver was less than Christ like. Ouch.

I doubt seriously that this dude saw Christ in me. What he saw was a crazy lady. I’ve told you many times that I’m a work-in-progress and that God ain’t done with me yet. And so it is with you.

Jesus always maintained a perfect attitude in every situation because He prayed about everything and worried about nothing. Prayer was His lifeline. Jesus never became defensive, discouraged, or yelled at people from a mountaintop. In the midst of trials, He was patient. In the midst of suffering, He was hopeful. In the midst of blessing, He was humble. Even in the midst of ridicule, abuse, and hostility He “made no threats . . . and did not retaliate. Instead He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly” (I Peter 2:23).

We are to be imitators of Christ in all things, including our attitudes. Jesus taught us that we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control our response.

Ten minutes after the crazy lady episode, the construction zone dangers were behind us. As the truck driver finally passed us in the left lane, I noticed a bumper sticker on the back of his 18-wheeler that read: “How’s my driving?”

I’m thinking these kinds of drivers need a bumper sticker that reads: “How’s my attitude?”

I know what you’re thinking. Duh, Jan, you need this bumper sticker too. I agree with you, and if I see one I’m buying it.

Okay, I’ve learned a valuable attitude lesson. How about you? How’s your attitude?

Copyright 2008 by Jan Coates, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Jan Coates is an author, speaker, consultant, founder of Set Free Today Ministries and serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery®.

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