The third attitude is worry. I once read statements by two medical authorities who claimed that worry is a disease of the mind that kills more people than all other diseases combined. Worry can cause mental and physical suicide. It drains vitality, it wrecks our physical well-being, it menaces our mental fitness, and it hinders our spiritual growth. It is a robber of peace and joy and rest and power.
Worry is very disappointing. It lets us down so often because we worry about things that never happen. It is a major sin against God, for it makes God a liar. He has said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5), but worry tells our family and neighbors that He has left us and forsaken us. Our worry tells the world that God's Word is untrue and unreliable when it says, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
Romans 8:32 says, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" But our worry tells the world that He does not care for us, that He withholds some very needful things from us.
"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" is another of His promises. Our worry says that some things work together for good, but some things do not. It tells people that our Heavenly Father feeds the birds, but He will not always feed us. He clothes the birds, but He does not always clothe us.
We pray, "Our Father which art in heaven" (Matthew 6:9), and then we live like homeless orphans. The world sees what we do and finds it difficult to believe the message of His Word. Indeed, we must look upon worry as a major sin!
The fourth defeating attitude is self-pity. It is an almost incurable disease because the patient usually does not want to be cured. The person who has the real disease of self-pity is like one who enjoys poor health and would just as soon remain that way.
Fourfold Attitude for Victory
How can we be victorious over circumstances? The proper attitude is fourfold.
First is submission. I love the words of Isaiah 50:5: "I was not rebellious." No matter what the circumstances, no matter what the environment, no matter what the tempest or the storm, "I was not rebellious." Can we say that?
Our blessed Lord had that attitude always in all things. Even when the people wanted to throw Him over the cliff to kill Him (Luke 4:28-30), even when His own friends did not understand Him and said He was beside Himself (Mark 3:20, 21) - in every single instance in His life where there was persecution and difficulty, He was never rebellious. He always said, "Not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).
In 1 Peter 5:5 our Lord says, "Be clothed with humility." Humility must go along with submission, "for God resisted the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time". Can we say right this moment from the depths of our being concerning whatever circumstances we are in, "Lord, I delight to do Thy will"?
(continued with # 8 - "Contentment")