“Let your life be a stepping stone to Christ and not a stumbling block.” 1 Cor. 8:13 & 10:31
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify God who is in heaven." Matt. 5:16
By Rick Boxx
Sometimes enlightenment comes at unexpected times. A while ago I had a very bad experience while visiting a national fast-food restaurant. The eating area was very dirty, desperately in need of a thorough cleaning. The restaurant staff seemed indifferent and unfriendly, and I found myself wondering, "What is wrong with this place?"
Without question, the owners of the establishment had paid the same franchise fee as those at other stores, and the personnel had received the same training that workers at other franchises were given. The store offered the same products, and procedures were identical to any other restaurant in the chain. I felt certain that inept management must have been an issue, but was not convinced that it was the only factor in the restaurant’s poor overall performance.
Then it occurred to me: The core problem was attitude. For whatever reason, this restaurant and its staff seemed afflicted with a negative attitude and a defeated spirit.
Imagine being raised in an environment where you were always told you were stupid. By the time you reach the workforce, you would become convinced that you are stupid and incompetent; all you want to do is survive. This restaurant seemed filled with people like that – mere survivors, not achievers. Convinced they were incapable of success, their only goal was to make it through another day with as little struggle as possible.
It is amazing the difference our attitude makes in how we approach each day and what we are able to accomplish. The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). The perspective you maintain about yourself – and your circumstances – can have a tremendous impact on what you do, how you do it, and how it is evaluated by others.
Are you a survivor who would really like to become an achiever? Do you harbor negative, even destructive, thoughts from the past? Make an effort, with God's help, to transform your mind, adopting a new attitude toward yourself and the situation in which you find yourself. You can start by focusing on truth. Philippians 4:8 says, "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – If anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things."
Years ago, business consultants and motivational speakers often spoke about “the power of positive thinking.” This “power” does have its limits – it takes more than just thinking positively to become a world-class athlete, top-producing salesperson, or highly respected top executive. But a negative attitude will undoubtedly keep you from achieving lofty goals.
The story is often told about the two stonecutters who were asked what they were doing. The first answered, “I am cutting this stone into blocks.” The second offered a very different reply. He said, “I am part of a team that is building a cathedral.” As you approach your own job today, what will you be doing: Simply cutting stone into blocks – or participating in building a cathedral?
(Copyright 2008, Integrity Resource Center, Inc.) Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. For more information about receiving Integrity Moments in their e-mail box, write to: rboxx@IntegrityMoments.com and type "subscribe" in the subject line or visit his website, www.IntegrityResource.org