A number of years ago, when I first began working in full time ministry I read a book by Dr. John C. Maxwell called “The Winning Attitude”. I was led to read the book because to be quite honest my attitude sucked.
Many would be amazed to hear that it is actually hard for me to share my emotions. Yes, you can insert the shocked face here. Even with being a writer, in real world interactions with others it’s not that easy for me to be open and free. I don’t know at some point during my life journey I began putting up walls to protect myself from being emotionally hurt by others. Somehow I got a bit off balanced.
Now I can tell you, working in ministry where your life is an open book whether you want it to or not, made me confront a lot of my unhealthy habits and behaviors. My mess was written all over my face. I look at pictures of myself from that time, and I can see the sadness in my eyes. I was broken. I have written my testimony in hand and will continue to do so as I am led. However, for the sake of time I will say this; God’s unconditional love has healed me and continues to strengthen me.
Know Thy Self
I think and act terribly logically, and I am fiercely loyal. If an assignment is given to me, I faithfully and diligently work it till it is done. My husband says I have Mr. Spock (the biracial Vulcan-Human Science / 1st officer from the Star Trek franchise) tendencies and emotional characteristics. On one, hand, this can be extremely helpful because I can look at a situation rationally and get the job done without my emotions getting involved. I take life and respond to it truly unfiltered.
However, on the other hand, I also wear my heart on my sleeve and those I love, I love strongly and deeply. When my emotions do get involved I am either hot or cold. By nature and overall I am a particularly pleasant and happy person; I am thankful for my relationship with the Lord for that fact.
One of my brothers-in-Christ, who is now a pastor and whom I supported during my rough spell; once told me that I needed to learn how to recognize the shades of gray rather than just the black and white of situations. When I first heard that, I know I had to have given him a crumpled up face. I just didn’t understand if something needed to get done, why people just didn’t do it. Or if they couldn’t why they just could not ask for help; unbeknownst to myself what I didn’t notice in others was my own issue. There are a number of things I have and had placed on the backburner that now that I am married, my husband has helped to bring to a head. Thank God that he chose to make my husband and he was destined to help me fix my messy self.
Now back to my personal attitude adjustment plan. In Dr. Maxwell’s book one of the exercises he gives is to create a plan. Ironically, at the time that I was reading the book, my pastors Dr. Creflo and Taffi L. Dollar were teaching sermon messages on the topic of having a godly attitude. So, I was able to use what I was learning in church in a practical way to draft my personal plan. It has been almost 7 years since I first drafted it and each time I see it I am edified by it. Please consider it below. I hope by sharing mine, you will draft your own. It’s a powerful tool to include in your personal toolkit.
My Personal Attitude Adjustment Plan
- God is more concerned about my attitude than my actions.
- I will do what is needed when it is inconvenient to me.
- I pay attention to details and the needs of others.
- I am adaptable and willing to change without complaint.
- I will be more patient with others.
- I will listen to learn and not be offended by what I hear.
- I must remember that it’s not about me.
- I must not be concerned about my own interests.
- My prosperity will come from serving God and others.
- I see interruptions as divine appointments to cultivate my servant’s heart.
- I must calculate the cost before I act and react.
- I no longer just represent myself; I represent the ministry, my Pastors and ultimately Jesus and the Most High God.
- When others mistreat me, I must turn the other cheek and pray.
- I will not allow my past to rob me of my future.
- I am destined for greatness.
- I am a servant of the Most High God, and my joy is found in knowing I am giving him my best and that he loves me unconditionally.
- It is not my job to correct, but to be obedient and submit to those that are in authority over me.
- Submission is for my own protection.
- The last word does not need to be mine.
- I must confirm not assume.
- I must remember my lane.
- It is my job to assist and by assisting I learn how to lead.
- I will work on correcting one challenging thing about myself one day at a time. So that what I want to be projected about my character lines up with the WORD and is pleasing to God.
© 2013 – 2014, Lela Jefferson Fagan. All rights reserved.