IVP - Online Pulpit - Attitude - A Critical Need of a Leader

February 1, 2007

Attitude - A Critical Need of a Leader

Victor Frankl, a courageous Jew who became a prisoner during the Holocaust, endured years of indignity and humiliation by the Nazis before he was finally liberated. His captors had taken away his home and family, his cherished freedom, even his watch and wedding ring. He was a helpless pawn in the hands of prejudiced, sadistic men. But he realized there was one thing no one could ever take from him: the power “to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s way.”

A leader understands this fundamental principle: Between stimulus and response a person has the freedom to choose. We have response-ability—the ability to choose our responses to life’s assaults.

Attitude alone fuels our fire or assaults our hope. When our attitude is right, no barrier is too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme and no challenge too great. William James, the father of American psychology, said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that people can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”

Here’s how it works: Uplook impacts outlook that determines outcome.

1. Uplook is our focus on God.

Focusing on God turns a negative experience into a positive one. We turn bad days into good days by trusting God. Let him handle your situations and concerns. Focus is like gathering evidence: Look up at God. Has he ever been unfaithful to his promise? Remember all the times he has been there for you. We believe that even in the worst situations, God will bring good.

2. Outlook is a positive attitude.

A new driver for an interstate trucking company found the cross-country trips extremely tiring. But he noticed that the older driver he traveled with thrived on the road. He always looked fresh. So one day the man asked his partner what his secret was. “It’s all in your attitude,” he replied. “While you went to work this morning, I went for a ride in the country.”

Like the seasoned driver, our outlook on the life God has given us should be on the beauty of the scenery and not on the drudgery of the trip.

3. Outcome is the result of our efforts.

Outcome is the result of faithful uplook and positive outlook.

Faithful uplook and positive outlook is illustrated by the Apollo 13 space mission. Mission Control knew that bringing the astronauts back from the far side of the moon was next to impossible. But they never gave up. They accomplished one small task at a time. The looked for partial solutions and strung them together until they brought the men home safely. They were successful in spite of overwhelming technological breakdowns because they believed they could do it.

While the astronauts’ lives were still in doubt, there was a pessimist who feared that Apollo 13 might become the “worst space disaster” in American history. The ground commander in Houston turned to him and said with optimism, “On the contrary, sir, I see Apollo 13 as being our finest hour.” He turned out to be right.

The fastest athletes do not win races; the strongest men do not win fights. Races and fights are won by those who want to win most of all. Likewise, we “win” (outcome) when we focus on God (uplook) and expect him to do great things (outlook) in our lives.

Posted by Rick Ezell at February 1, 2007 9:49 AM Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed for this entry.