Have you noticed that some days you have a better attitude than other days?

Our mind-set determines, to a large extent, our successes and failures. God has created our marvelous brains with the capacity to improve in function, ability and attitude with proper use and exercise. Our brains constantly reshape themselves according to what they learn, think, feel, and expect.
Attitude is far more important than facts when it comes to conquering life’s mountains. When we possess bad attitudes, we may expend a lot of energy attempting to mount small issues but find ourselves unprepared when we need the mental resolve to scale a genuine peak of difficulty.
On September 6 to 8, our church will embark in Healthy Church Initiative Consultation-commonly known as HCI.
Healthy Church Initiative is process of “COMMUNITY REFORMULATION AND BRIDGING LEADERSHIP” that will empower the Church to see ministries and mission in the light of God’s Will and Genuine Presence in the Church. It invites the congregation to engage in determining weaknesses and strengths. And with the help of consultants led by Dr. Jaye Johnson, come up with prescriptions that will lead us to new visions and new direction.
With this in mind, what mindset do we bring into this initiative? What will be our attitude when we come to face the challenges of the realities that will come out of this process?
Social psychologist Carol Dweck studied what she terms the “FIXED VERSUS GROWTH” mindset (Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, New York: Random House, 2006, p.16). Fixed mind-sets believe that traits such as intelligence, ability, personality, and competence are inborn and unchangeable. They believe the need to “WORK” at improving means there is a basic lack on intelligence or ability. They tend to view themselves as smart or dumb, strong or weak, winners or losers.
On the other hand, GROWTH mind-sets believe that although people may differ in basic aptitudes, interests, and temperament, everyone can change, grow, improve. They have the passion for stretching and growing, even while mak-ing mistakes and facing challenges.
GROWTH mind-set people may not feel smart, but they are interested in “GETTING SMART.”
Here is the comparison when it comes to attitude according to Carol Dweck.
FIXED MIND-SET                                      GROWTH MIND-SET
●choose easy problems instead                      ●embrace challenges
of hard ones in order to reassure                     ●persist in the face of obstacle
themselves they are competent                       ●learn from criticism
●tends to avoid challenges                              ●find others’ success inspiring
●gives up easily when                                      ●tend to be positive
confronted with obstacle                                  ●able to trust others
●ignores criticism                                              ●can bounce back when difficulties get them down
●threatened by others                                      ●tend to be more forgiving of others .

Victor Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist who was imprisoned during World War II, pointed out when he was finally re-leased, “Everything can be taken away from a (person) but one thing: the last of the human freedoms- to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances (Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, Boston Beacon Press, 2006, p.66). Choosing a new way of thinking is like changing any other habit-it takes practice, perseverance, and patience. The scripture reveals to us that we have always the ability to remodel our brains.
My challenge to Gladbrook UMC, as we participate in the process of healthy Church Initiative will be:
FIRST, let us learn together to identify fixed-thinking.
SECOND, determine to replace this faulty thinking with a growth mind-set.
THIRD, read the Bible for direction and power. Jesus said, “LEARN OF ME” (Matthew 11:29 KJV).
FOURTH, pray for power and pray for it without ceasing.
Learning new and better ways of living and thinking is always possible and available with God through the Holy Spirit. Let us journey together in this process and start practicing a new attitude of doing church.

In His Service,
Pastor Gideon

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