Happy March, friends! I would say we’re well on our way to spring now. We still have some chilly days ahead, but I’m definitely ready to pack up the boots and heavy sweaters.
Sunday was a fairly warm day here, and my daughter had a new dress she wanted to wear to church. She’d just bought it on Friday, and it needed a small alteration. [Insert fact about me: I don’t like to sew. Buttons, I can handle. Outside of that, I have little patience for it.]
My daughter said she would sew it – and I probably should have let her since she’s fairly handy with a needle. But I knew it would take some finagling for the dress to come out looking right. I’ve done this alteration before, and she hasn’t. Since I had a good twenty minutes before I needed to get ready for church, I figured it shouldn’t be a problem.
Well. The first try looked awful. On the second and third tries, I messed up a stitch near the beginning and didn’t realize it till I was almost done. Time was running out, and my daughter said she would just wear something else to church. But at this point, I was frustrated with myself and determined to get the job done.
I will spare you the rest of the details and just say that she wore the dress to church Sunday morning. But part of it was held together by clear shipping tape. (Yes, it’s true! And it survived the service!) I did sew the dress up properly on Sunday afternoon.
As you might imagine, my attitude in that moment was not the best – and it was my own fault. I was mad at myself for not being able to do it right. It should have taken me five minutes to complete, but I kept messing it up.
Many different things affect our attitude. We go through big, hard trials. We or someone we love is sick. A family member won’t communicate with us. Our every day emotions rise up and we feel mad or sad or hurt or helpless or discouraged. Some days we just get up on the wrong side of the bed!
So how can we change our attitude? I believe it boils down to one word.
Most of the time I have an attitude problem because my focus is wrong. It’s on my circumstances or my feelings. I wrap myself up in self-pity or self-righteousness or self-condemnation.
Getting my focus off of myself and onto God can change my attitude. But I have to make the choice. It’s not easy because sometimes, as weird as it sounds, we like to indulge ourselves in our feelings. But nurturing that wrong attitude isn’t good.
So what does praising God mean? It’s us expressing our admiration of Him to Him. It can also involve expressing thanks and love to Him and showing our reverence for Him as Lord.
What better way to praise God than by saying His Word back to Him!
I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. ~Psalm 145:1-3
In a post later this month, we’ll talk more about Bible verses that praise God. Another way to praise God is through song. Here are five of my favorite classic hymns of praise.
- Holy, Holy, Holy by Reginald Heber
- Crown Him with Many Crowns by Bridges and Thring
- O Worship the King by Robert Grant
- How Great Thou Art by Stuart K. Hine
- Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee by Henry J. VanDyke
It could be helpful for us to create a list of “praise” Bible verses to pull out when we sense that we need an attitude adjustment. A playlist of praise hymns would also be a great tool for directing our focus to God.
Occasionally I will skip my daily scheduled Bible reading and prayer and use that time to simply praise God. After singing hymns of praise, I read praise passages in the Bible.
What a difference the right attitude makes! Our homes and our relationships are better when we have a grateful heart that’s saturated in praise for our God.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever. ~Psalm 145:17-18, 21
This month let’s make praising God a priority. Share a favorite praise passage or hymn if you have one!