By Stan Saunders
Stan and Michelle Saunders began pastoral ministry during their college days in 1982. They graduated from Rhema Bible Training Center in 1985. After serving a church as pastor in coastal North Carolina, in 1986 they returned to their hometown. Cornerstone Church in Chillicothe, Missouri has increased from three families to a congregation of 600 and still growing.
Stan and Michelle have four children. They love small town living, bike riding, hiking, and tennis. They are quite active in world missions, serving on a mission board for a ministry reaching Thailand, Myanmar, Pakistan, and other Asian nations. Cornerstone Church leads a group of 200 churches in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. They travel often to Asia and Africa to help pastors and church leaders.
Did your Mom ever tell you that your needed an attitude adjustment? There have been so many times in my life that I needed to do just that. I used to be a negative person. I could tell you what’s wrong with many things and many people. I have to fight being critical and judgmental. I hated winter, tax preparation, slow moving traffic, standing in lines, etc. How about you?
I decided to change my attitude. Attitude is everything. Attitude determines altitude. Life is too great to be missed by failures and disappointment of the past. The past is past. I owe more to my future than to my past. Perhaps, an attitude adjustment will help you?
Here is what I do to change my attitude. First, I change my emotions. Enthusiasm comes from a Greek compound word —“en theos”. En (in) theos (god). To be enthusiastic is to be in God. I watched Chris Martin from the band, Cold Play, being interviewed on television. He indicated that the only real genius of their success was the enthusiasm they put into their live performances. Malcom Forbes said, “People who never get carried away should be.” To be enthusiastic, you must act enthusiastic. Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it!
Second, I change my words. My world is created by my words. Proverbs 6:2, “You are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.” Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Mark 11:23, ““Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. What have you been saying?
Next, I change my friends. Because, I cannot change other people, I adjust with whom I spend time. Negativity will choose your friends for you. Likewise, people of faith connect with each other. A positive atmosphere stimulates creativity and solutions. I like to hang with big thinkers and positive people. Negative people are a drag. I don’t always eliminate spending time with old friends. But, I do reduce the frequency of time, if they don’t contribute to a positive attitude. People are like elevators. They either take you up or down in life.
You are going to love this last one. Finally, I change my diet. I reduce the amount of junk food and the sugary drinks and drink water and eat real food. Real food is the kind that God created, not man. So, get moving—walk, run, skip, hop, row, jump, shuffle, … Exercise releases "feel good" juice into your system. There is a natural "high" created from exercise.
I also take extra time feeding myself on God’s Word. I read or listen to messages that build my faith. I take my wife and/or staff to meetings that will increase our vision and build us up. It is time for you to thrive. John Maxwell wrote, “Passion is the first step to achievement.” Do whatever it takes to rekindle a positive attitude. Attitude determines your altitude.