ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE...
17 Do not gloatwhen your enemy falls;
when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,
18 or the Lord will see and disapprove
and turn his wrath away from them.
Today I am asking that we begin our time together with a moment of silence praying for all of those that have fought and given their lives and time to serve and protect our freedom... Thank you. I know that being a military brat was something that I was not always proud to call myself, because really who wants to be called a brat. But in the reality of this world, the older I get the more my chest fills with pride for the people, men and women, who have given their lives and continue on the frontlines today to fight for the freedom that we all seem to take for granted from time to time. I know that my dad gave all that he had and served with honor and respected the flag that waved as a reminder of the oath that he took to serve and give his life for freedom. That may seem like a faded memory to most, because today, it seems as though that flag does not fly with as mush prominence as it once did over the land of the brave and free. Instead of walking side by side and standing shoulder to shoulder, we are finding ourselves on different sides of a different line and I just must say it today, that is NOT why so many have served and laid down their lives.
Today, across our nation we are celebrating Veterans Day and we are reminded of so many that have made and are making the sacrifice to stand for the foundational principles of what this country stands for... life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I know that there are a lot of different definitions on how that should look today, but the reality is that we are a sovereign state that has been given the right to protect this world against tyranny and anything that may try to stand up against that freedom. We continue to watch as sons and daughters are taking the call to serve and defense the constitution of the United States of America. We are watching God continue to bless America even though we don't really realize just how much we truly are blessed. The reality of it all is that every single one of us
needs to wake up and realize that we should stop having this attitude of distrust and start having an attitude of gratitude. We should be thanking our lucky stars, as Lee Greenwood says, that for today, the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away. I am proud to be an American. I am proud of being a Christian American and I will do all the I can to fulfill God's call in my life to serve and defend these freedoms that have been given to us by Jesus who came and died on a cross and shattered the veil that stood between us and God. It is not an attitude that I am willing to stand over anyone and say that I am better than you, but in reality it is an attitude of humility that continues to say that I want to walk with you and show you how to receive the same freedom today.
Solomon is reminding us that we are still seeking wisdom for every situation that may arise in life and the attitude that we take is something we have to wisely understand as well. You know it is funny that growing up all that I wanted to do is win and get a trophy and let all of the world know just how good I was... The older I get, I really the trophies are sitting in a closet and remind me of my hubris and of the person I use to be as God was shaping and directing my life. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that we should not celebrate our victories, but what I am saying is that we need to teach and live out that in our victories we do so with humility. That seems to be the word of the week... humility. Solomon is saying to us to day to watch our pride and do not gloat over those who we have vanquished. It is a very thin line sometimes between winning and losing and it all comes from our attitudes. I know that I have used it before, but it seems fitting to once again quote Charles Swindoll's poem entitled Attitude. "In the end, I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes." These are very profound words that truly tie in to our lesson on wisdom today. Solomon warns us that if we start taking the credit for the victory, don't be surprised if the presence of the Lord will be removed. We see this countless times in scripture where God's people have God's favor and because of their attitudes and decisions, the favor of God is removed. We are to serve with humility and have a desire to help others, even in defeat, to experience the love, grace and mercy of God.
My dad always told me that there are winners and losers in this life... learn how to win with an attitude of humility and you will truly be a winner. One of my favorite things in life is watching those who have fought for the flag stand at attention whenever taps, the star spangled banner, or the pledge of allegiance is played, sung or spoked. There is a pride that runs deep because of the sacrifices that have been made to serve and defend the freedoms that we have in the United States. There are so many different things that we are able to complain about because of their willingness to toe the line and protect the freedom that we so much don't deserve from time to time. We are blessed to live in a country where we have been given the right to freedom but that is a right that we must be willing to humbly carry on
our shoulders. One of the things that I am witnessing today is that we are gloating as a country and taking for granted the freedom in which God has given us and it does not surprise me that we are watching as it seems as if HE is pulling His favor from America. We are literally laughing in the faces of the founders fathers that fought to give us this freedom and I pray that we have an attitude check. We stop trying to redefine freedom and that we stop looking for the loop holes in the system. I pray that we do not gloat, but with humility we take on the job that we have been given as the land of the free and the home of the brave. I pray that we stop today and thank all of those that are on the frontlines that give us these freedoms because they gave their time and lives to help us to live in the land of the free. Have an Attitude of Gratitude and stop living in such a way that we continue to hold out our hands and say we want more. Be happy with what God has given us and take time to appreciate the country the we live in because lives have been given to allow us the opportunity to stand.