Norman Vincent Peale relates this story from his book, Power of the Plus Factor:
”Once walking through the twisted little streets of Kowloon in Hong Kong, I came upon a tattoo studio. In the window were displayed samples of the tattoos available.”
“On the chest or arms you could have tattooed an anchor or flag or mermaid or whatever. But what struck me with force were three words that could be tattooed on one’s flesh, ‘Born to Lose’.”
“I entered the shop in astonishment and, pointing to those words, asked the Chinese tattoo artist, “Does anyone really have that terrible phrase, Born to Lose, tattooed on his body?”
He replied, “Yes, sometimes.”
“But,” I said, “I just can’t believe that anyone in his right mind would do that.”
“The Chinese man simply tapped his forehead and in broken English said, ‘Before tattoo on body, tattoo on mind.’
The answer of the tattoo artist speaks to the importance of a good attitude. In one of the great verses of the Bible we’re told what kind of attitude we should possess.
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus’ (Phiippians 2:5, NASU)
Attitude is the manner, disposition or feeling toward people, situations and even things. Attitude has to do with outlook. Point of view. Temperament. Mental posture.
In life, and especially in the world of business or sports, we speak of a positive or negative attitude. Success, failure or mediocrity in any endeavor can often be traced to one’s attitude. The importance of our attitudes cannot be overestimated in our spiritual relationships. Our Christian walk must be guided by the right attitude. It is possible to be correct in creed, but crooked in character. Right in doctrine, but wrong in attitude.
What should be the Christian’s attitude? Simply put–Like Christ. The essence of Jesus’ attitude can be summed up in five qualities in this context. They were at the core of His character. The center of His being. The heart of who He was.
- Jesus’s attitude was submissive. He said, “not my will, but your will be done. He didn’t have a stubborn mind, but a surrendered mind. He knew the Father’s purpose for his life and was subservient to it. So must we.
- Jesus’ attitude was selfless. He was not a self-exalting person, but a self-abasing one. The irony was that Jesus was the fullness of the Deity in bodily form, but he was not full of Himself. You can’t be full of yourself and have the mind of Christ.
- Jesus’ attitude was servile. The life of the savior was one of service. He said that He came not to be served, but to serve. Saints seeking to acquire the mind of Christ, must imbibe this quality. Christ-followers must be servant minded.
- Jesus’ attitude was sacrificial. He was willing to pay the price, regardless of the cost. His sacrifice was the ultimate. He calls on us to be a living sacrifice.
- Jesus’ attitude was spiritual. Everything in the text has to do with the focus on the spirit, instead of the flesh; on the spiritual instead of the material; on the heavenly instead of the earthly. You will never acquire the mind of Christ without a spiritual focus.
Spiritual success, like material, physical and financial success, depends on my attitude. For Christians, Christ is the standard. He is our example. His attitude will be the basis for all other qualities that will transform my life, mold my mind, and direct my steps.
“Put off… the old man and…Be made new in the attitude of your minds” (Eph. 4:22-23)
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman