Over the past several days, a great deal of my time has been spent watching the NCAA Woman’s Softball championship and World Series playoffs. I have probably enjoyed this as much as I enjoy and find myself riveted to the Little League World Series later in the summer.
There is something about watching these women play that has not escaped my attention. It is their attitude. Out of all the games I have watched, I believe only one time have I seen a player get upset at the play of another.
The reason that made an impact is simple – attitude is everything. These woman play the game because they love playing the game, not because they have hopes of some professional contract down the road or some eternal glory – it is for the love of the game. And their attitude is consistently demonstrated in their actions. As a compliment, their actions continue to feed their attitude. It truly is a joy to watch.
As a follower of Christ, I know there are times when my attitude is pathetic. Unfortunately to compliment that, often my actions are counterproductive to my faith. It is a constant battle for me. The problem resides in the reversal of priorities. It is not my attitude that determines my actions, it must be an awareness of an action that produces my attitude.
Paul makes a comment, in his opening remarks to the Galatians, that the Lord Jesus Christ “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age.” He begins to wind down the letter with these words, “…Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” The desires of the flesh result in pitiful behavior and stinkin’ thinkin’. However, if we walk by the Spirit our attitudes and actions will be pure, uplifting, and beneficial.
I am delivered from this present evil age, yet often I live as though I still have both feet firmly grounded in it. It is a paradox that, I suspect, all of us struggle with from time to time. We do not live as delivered, we live as though we are still detained.
The sacrifice of Christ for my sins results in my deliverance through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. That action should, even must, result in a new attitude. Bearing the fruit that leads to “…love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, (and) self-control.”
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25)