“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person”(Matthew [15:18],ESV).
The world is a cold place, and life on this earth can lend itself naturally to miserable attitudes. There will always be enough injustice and irritation to keep us in the wilderness if we choose to murmur, complain, criticize, covet, doubt, and rebel.
On the flip side, though, life also offers plenty of people and situations to generate thankfulness, love, faith, submission, and contentment—attitudes that cause life to flow with the “milk and honey” of God’s blessing and abiding presence. The choice is truly ours.
Of course, some of our choices are limited. At different times, we reach forks in the road of life where we cannot control much. Sometimes we can’t control where we work, where we live, who the authorities in our lives are, and how they treat us. The only thing we can control is our attitude.
You choose your attitude. Sometimes it is the only thing you can choose—and it dwarfs your circumstances. The very same circumstance in life can feel like the Promised Land or the wilderness—depending on your perspective.
God’s Word teaches us some clear truths about the power of our attitudes.
First, the attitude reveals the true person. “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart,” Jesus said (Matthew [15:18]a). Your attitude reveals who you truly are. You can get your external behavior in order but still be a mess inside. God isn’t interested in soldiers that just look the part; He wants His followers to be the part, for real. When God looks at you, He sees through to your heart, because that’s where the true person resides. His goal is not a makeover but real heart transformation—changed attitudes.