July 19, 2023

We All Have One String

We can only play on the one string that we have...and that is our attitude.

We All Have One String

"The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me, is more important than facts. It will make or break a church, a company...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding our attitude that we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We can only play on the one string that we have...and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it goes with life..." (Chuck Swindoll)

This quote by Chuck Swindoll is powerful. Attitude so many times trumps talent, resources and knowledge. Our circumstances may change. Unexpected challenges may come our way. Obstacles, whether anticipated or not, do not impact our attitude unless we allow it. I am the only one who can control my attitude. When I entertain a negative attitude or slide down the slippery slope of self-pity, I have no one to blame but myself. If you sit back and think about it, this truth is empowering. For instance, in a world that seems to be looking for reasons to be offended, I am reminded of a truth my dad taught me a long time ago. While hosting my own personal pity party (after being victimized by gossip and false accusations), my dad said, "Son, no one can offend you unless you allow yourself to be offended." Jesus said we should love our enemies and pray for those who mistreat us. We GET to choose.

The only exception I take with Mr. Swindoll's quote is his use of the term "react". I think 90% is how we "respond". Too many times, we as fathers react. We react without giving thought to why our children say hurtful things, or why they lash out in anger, or flat out rebel. It would behoove us to do a little exploring before responding. Maybe something else is going on. Maybe we just happen to be the adult in the room in that moment. Maybe there is deep-seeded hurt and toxic words coming from their mouth are only a symptom. So rather than reacting out of fear or anger, what if we responded with love and wisdom. After all, who is the adult?

It has been said that experience is recognizing a mistake after you have made it the second time. Let's just say I am very experienced in reacting. So I am preaching to myself in this blog post. But I want to do better. I want to be better. I want to love my kids and grandkids the way my Heavenly Father loves me. He has given me a tool to do just that. What is it? The one string.

Mark McKinney

Author, Writer and Speaker

Mark has spent his entire adult life in service to others. He has served as a pastor, educator, motivational speaker and author. He has three daughters, one wife (Robbin) and eight grand children.

About Mark

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