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Attitude counts

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

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Have you noticed what an impact people's attitude has on their happiness or satisfaction? I was thinking about this after talking with two people the other day.

The first has a job. The work has become more difficult and demanding because of cutbacks and increased pressure to produce. His work is closely monitored, literally to the minute, as he deals with customers by phone. The pay is modest and barely covers his expenses.

Whenever we talk, his voice is laced with resentment and criticism. He'd leave in a minute if he had another opportunity, and he's afraid that he may be laid off anyway due to further cutbacks.

The other friend is looking for a job. He'd do anything to have a job like the one the other man has. When he hears about the micromanaging of employees, the increased workload, the poor morale among employees, he throws his hands up, wondering, "What does all that matter? What can't you do with God's help?"

It's easy to see that when we get caught up in office politics and gossip, the spirit of dissatisfaction, criticism, or self-pity can be contagious. There may be genuine issues that need to be resolved, but stewing in the juices of complaint isn't productive. Our days become increasingly unhappy. This has to have a bad impact on our job performance, and it makes progress even more unlikely.

We aren't always aware that it's our attitude rather than the job situation that is key to our happiness and progress.

Take, for example, the situation faced by Joseph in the Bible. His brother's jealousy was so great that they sold him into slavery. He went from being his father's favored child to being sold in the slave market. He was bought and added to the household of Potiphar, an Egyptian official.

It's hard to imagine the surge of emotions that must have rocked him. What would your attitude be the first day of work! But Joseph actually excelled in this environment. Then he was falsely accused and tossed into jail. And stayed there. But even this failed to destroy him. The Bible reports, "The Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper" (Gen. 39:23).

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