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The attitudes worn by people fascinate me. I use the word worn because I believe attitude is as much a part of how we look to others as the clothes we wear. When teaching healthcare staff, I always tried to stress that “everything we say and do paints a portrait of who we are.” I’ve long since forgotten where I read that definition, but it sure speaks attitude to me. 

Dr. David Jeremiah tells the story of a CEO who, when he began his company, recognized productivity as essential for growth. So at first, he tolerated bad attitudes if his employees were highly productive. However, as he grew in personal understanding of what it meant to stay successful, he changed the company’s policy to zero tolerance for employees with poor attitudes. Now that’s my kind of CEO!

There is a store near me where every employee seems mad all the time — no smiles, no offers to help. They will do their best to avoid helping even if you ask politely. I suspect if I asked ten friends which store I was describing, all ten would get it right. It’s amazing that they continue to succeed! But how sad to be known as the store where every person wears a bad attitude.

One morning after having been to the “sour pickle” store for something I couldn’t find elsewhere, I drove over to my bank to cash a check. Their attitude wasn’t exactly bad, but the service was indifferent – not at all what I had ever experienced there before.  Maybe it was just the one employee who was off track. My morning wasn’t going all that well until I stopped for lunch.   

What a pleasure to find every employee in the restaurant pleasant, wearing smiles, and enjoying being attentive. When I paid my bill, I mentioned how my morning had gone and how nice it was to have lunch in a place where employees seemed happy. The cashier responded, “It’s easy to be nice when your boss treats you nicely.” It does make a difference. We often reflect the style of the person in charge.

I want to go back to our self portrait. It’s important to stay around positive people. We can pick up what they do to paint a beautiful picture of who they are.  However, we can’t forget that we are responsible for what we show others about ourselves.  We may be influenced by the negative ways of others, but it’s what’s in our hearts that will dress us.

Dr. Jeremiah reminded readers that, for believers, it is the Holy Spirit who is to govern us. That means we are to dress in colors of kindness, calm demeanor, gracious service, pleasant words, and efficient, respectful service.  

As children of God called to witness in this world, we have tremendous opportunity to reflect the One whom we say governs us. We all experience off-days. So when we stumble with our own poor attitude, we can ask God to forgive us and guide us to better reflect Him.  We can remember each day to be conscious of painting our own self-portrait that says “God lives in me.”


For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 KJV