Tears On My Cigar Box by Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom


I have an outgoing and upbeat personality, but I sure didn’t act like it on my first day of first grade back in 1964. Since kindergarten hadn’t been invented yet, I was venturing into very-scary territory. I was sad and distressed as I entered Mrs. Neill’s room toting my cigar box with a tear on the lid. As I sat at my table waiting for the teacher to begin school, I watched another classmate acting like she was at a party! Patsy was boisterously    interacting with the other kids and having a blast. I couldn’t believe she could act like that in such a traumatic situation. But it was quite obvious her attitude was, “Yippee! Kids to play with, and so many of ‘em all in the same room! This is great!” My attitude was, “Gloom, despair, and agony on me!”


Although Patsy and I were experiencing the same environment, our attitudes were on opposite ends of the spectrum. Attitude is a mindset, outlook, or perspective about something or a particular situation. When we have a set way of thinking (whether right or wrong), it’s reflected in our behavior. I had an attitude of distress and I was completely miserable. Patsy had an attitude of fun and she was as happy as a lark.


God is not honored when His children have bad attitudes. It’s really important that believers have the same attitude as Christ. “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (Philippians 2:3-5 NLT). Just as Jesus is willing to go the distance to reach, love, and care for us, we should want to do the same for others.


Having a selfish mindset runs contrary to God‘s purposes and guarantees a life of misery. But those who choose to pursue a Christ-like mindset reap the benefits of an abundant life now and eternal life later. “…those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities. For the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace” (Romans 8:5,6 TPT).


Christ followers are not to live in hopeless confusion like the world. When nonbelievers  close their minds and harden their hearts against God, they’re cutting off their nose to spite their face. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. “…let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT). When believers fill their minds with life-changing truth from God’s Word, there’s no room for the enemy to fill them with his rotten lies. However, Satan loves it when he finds a lazy believer who’s made no effort to fill his/her mind with God’s Word. An empty head is a lot easier to hoodwink, and the devil is more than happy to oblige.


If our attitude stinks to high heaven, we can make a life-changing decision to fine-tune it or completely overhaul it. Nothing is impossible with God. Our thoughts direct the course of our lives because we act and speak according to what we think. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 NLT). Do yourself a favor, up the ante and get on board with the right train of thought.


The Key: Trade in your old soggy cigar box for a new game-changer attitude.

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