Attitude is Infectious
. . . And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about attitude in the workplace. We’re in the middle of a Covid-19 surge again, which is becoming more normal, but still, it’s hard on morale. I’m not the attitude police, but as a physician, I do have some responsibility to be mindful of how I act. Attitude is infectious, impacting and spreading to those around me. My behavior, mood, and words have a ripple effect on others – and theirs have some effect on me.
We all know those chronic whiners who complain about everything, spreading conflict wherever they go. Perpetually unhappy themselves, they try to drag everyone else into whatever issue is frustrating them. They will never acknowledge having a good day and they must always find something about which to complain. When around such a person, I often find myself joining in with the grumbling. Then, my mood is darkened and perhaps I turn and share that darkness with someone else, spreading the misery.
Then, we all know those people who maintain a smile and a positive attitude no matter what. That too is infectious. When I’m around such people, I find myself smiling. It’s a joy to work with those who enjoy their work and maintain an upbeat outlook, despite frustrations and difficulties. They make me better and in turn, I share that light with those around me, spreading the positive attitude.
In today’s passage, Paul continued his armor of God metaphor, insisting that, as Christians, we’re supposed to wear the gospel of peace on our feet. Because of the gospel of Christ, we have peace with God. That peace is to permeate our lives and wherever our feet take us, that peace must go with us, spreading to those around us. Whoever we meet should be able to see the peace that God has brought to our lives.
This isn’t automatic though. Our attitude is a choice. Because of the gospel, we do have peace with God, but we’re still flawed. So, daily, we must decide if we’re going to live in that peace, allowing it to permeate our thoughts, words, and actions, or, if we are going to indulge in our tendency to be irritated, frustrated, and annoyed by everything. We can be the chronic whiner, or we can be the joyful Christian. We can spread conflict, or we can spread peace. Our attitude is our choice and daily, our decision will affect those around us – for better or worse. If we follow Christ, we must daily choose to wear the gospel of peace.