8.10.2015

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God...



Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me...
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 51:10, 12

I've come to realize that having a clean heart has everything to do with attitude. Sometimes my attitude is just nasty. Even in the midst of a light hearted activity, I can find myself weighed down and tense with a bad attitude. I'm set off by tiny remarks, subtle actions, and fixable consequences. I get critical, unsympathetic, entitled, and self centered. I close into myself and don't share with anyone.  I'm unable to see past the present circumstances and past my emotions. Often when I reflect on the moment later, I can't understand why I wasn't able to let go of whatever was bothering me.

Our attitude really impacts everything, and when we have a bad attitude it can really ruin the whole day! I often times fall prey to a negative state of mind. I want to work towards seeking a clean heart when my attitude is nasty.

Here's some strategies to turn things around that I want to practice:
  • Check in: Our emotions can get out of control when our needs aren't being met. When I feel triggers of a bad mood coming, I want to practice asking myself basic self care questions:
    -Have I eaten (Am I hangry)? Have I eaten foods that fuel my body?
    -Have I had any alone time or time to rest in the last 24 hours?
    -Have I showered and taken care of my appearance lately?
    -Have I exercised recently?
    -Have I gotten enough rest and sleep?
    -Have I spent any time with the Lord this week?
    -Is there an underlying reason for my foul mood?
    Often times when I have a bad attitude, an underlying reason is a basic need not being met. If we can identify that need and try to meet it or even just realize the need, hopefully it can keep the problem from getting blown out of proportion.
    Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? -1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  • A Moment of Gratitude: Negativity can add fuel to fire for a bad attitude. Another idea to try to turn things around is thankfulness. As a psychology student, I learned the number one factor impacting happiness is not money, family, education, or marriage- it is gratitude. Cool, right! Once you start practicing it, gratitude is pretty easy too. Depending on the situation, a moment of gratitude can be done in many different ways. If in a busy situation or with others, several breaths in and out accompanied by thoughts of gratitude can help. If you have more flexibility, you can write down a list or set a timer for a few minutes of silent thankfulness. Being grateful for what is positive in our lives can help change our perspective and alleviate negativity.
    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. -Philippians 4:8
  • Surrender: This is what usually happens when I've tried eating a healthy meal, reading my bible, going for a walk, had a moment of gratitude and I still have a nasty attitude. In fact, sometimes it happens hours after that, even! This is the moment where I cry out to God and say "Lord, my attitude is so terrible today. I know this is not what you intend for me. Please change me." At the moment, I may have such a nasty heart that I'm not even willing to change. But the Lord has the power to lighten my load and change my attitude. Giving it to Him means letting it go. This usually feels like a moment of defeat, but it is the moment where I let Him have control. When I give Him control I remember who He is, and the truth He tells me.
    Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! -Psalm 139: 23-24
God can do so much more with our hearts and lives when we have an attitude that is aware of His gifts to us, and yielding to His spirit. The Lord can definitely change our attitude, but a lot of the time a willing, cheerful spirit starts with us. When I am grumpy and cross I want to respond by crying out to him in thankfulness and praying for him to make my heart more like his.  I want to sincerely desire a clean heart that is pleasing to my God, and a willingness to discard my selfish desires and entitlements. I want to remember his grace towards me even in my ornery moments, and remember his power to make every moment new. 

What have you found helps you when you have a bad attitude? What DOESN'T help you cheer up? (my least favorite is when someone says, 'don't be grumpy', I never find that very helpful!)


Gratefully Linking up With:

5 comments:

Winter said...

This is such a great post! Such truth for those moments we are out of sorts. I would love to have you share your post at my link party (#wordswithwinter)

Kelsey said...

Thank you so much Winter! Just linked up. I love your blog title!

sandraj said...

I love your post about the daily struggle - attitude with gratitude and surrender. He makes all things new! Thanks! Joining you from Jennifer Dukes Lee TellHisStory.

Ginger Harrington said...

Learning to surrender my expectations and perceived rights has made a big difference for me. It is a battle of emotions and self-will, but when I get to the end of it, there is freedom that lightens my heart. Linking with you at #TellHisStory. So nice to make a new bloggy friend:)

Tona said...

When I have a bad day I focus on having a grateful heart and thinking about all the the things the Lord has done for me.