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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

An Eeyore Attitude (Proverbs 15:15, 19)

 "All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast."
"The way of the sluggard is blocked by thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway."

Winnie-the-Pooh has entertained and influenced several generations of children. When my children were small one of them identified with Christopher Robin's adventuresome personality while another identified with Eeyore's gloomy personality. Maybe you remember the following conversation Eeyore had with Pooh Bear:
"Good morning, Eeyore," said Pooh.
"Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning, which I doubt," said he.
"Why, what's the matter?"
"Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."

"Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
"Gaiety. Song-and-dance.
Here we go round the mulberry bush."
Thankfully, our move overseas broke the spell that Eeyore had on my child. Just as Eeyore's negative outlook on life kept him from enjoying life in the 100 Aker Woods, the joys found in life are lost to many who can't see them. They have an Eeyore attitude--they see the glass as half empty rather than half full.

The oppressed, because of their hard circumstances, only see gloom and doom. Yet, there are those who live in oppressive situations who choose joy in the midst of their circumstances. They see possibilities.

The sluggard only sees what he wants to see--thorns, barriers to success, while the upright sees those same barriers as opportunities. The upright envision a highway where the sluggard sees nothing at all--only thorns. Yet, they both look at the same landscape.

Attitudes are congealed mental habits. With discipline they can become positive. Left alone negative attitudes prophesy of a life of gloom--life with an Eeyore attitude.

John Maxwell describes our attitude as "the speaker of our present and the prophet of our future." Do you have a tendency to see the glass as half empty or half full? Attitudes can be changed. Ask the Lord to make you more aware of how you allow your attitude to guide you instead of His Word and His Spirit.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading: Proverbs 14:1-15:33
  • Draw two columns and list the characteristics of the righteous (or prudent) in the first column and contrast those with the characteristics of the wicked (or foolish) in the second column.
  • What does Solomon say about a man's words and speech?
  • What does Solomon say about what a man's wealth does for him?
  • How does the lack of wealth affect the poor?
Turning truth into prayer: Choose a proverb from today's reading to write on an index card and commit it to memory. Ask the Lord to burn the message of this verse into your heart.