Bible Study Blog

Joy Thief – A Bad Attitude

by Brandy Webb

Have you ever had a day like this: you wake up feeling great, energetic, ready to conquer the world, but an hour after getting up, your kids start arguing, something breaks, you find a bill you forgot to pay, and the next thing you know you realize you’re running late? Then, all of a sudden, that wonderful mood you were in switches like a light bulb from light to dark, from good mood to bad mood? Maybe you haven’t had a day with the list of things happening, but the real question is, have you ever had a day where you were in a good mood in one moment and then a bad mood in another?

I know I have had too many days like that here recently. You would think I was a pendulum the way my attitude has swung, but I’m tired of being in a bad attitude. It is a joy thief. It not only steals my joy, but it also creates this vacuum in my house and sucks the joy out of my kids and my husband. You may know the cliché, “If mom isn’t happy, no one is happy.” Well, it is sad that there is truth to that, but anyone can be substituted in that sentence. If someone close to you that lives with you is not happy, then those around them are most likely going to struggle with their joy levels.

Our attitudes are very powerful in affecting those around us. Anger, frustration, anxieties, anything that causes us to be in a bad attitude, is not from God. When we give into these things and let them destroy our joy, we are giving “the devil a foothold” (Eph 4:27). I honestly believe this is why Paul teaches us what to talk about (Eph 4:29), what to think about (Phil 4:8-9), and how to correctly interact with each other (Eph 4:32). He understood that when we act out our bad attitudes we are letting the wrong thing win. He tells us that when we allow ourselves to give into “bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry,…slander….malice,” we grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30-31).

Therefore, when I allow my attitude to ruin my day, I’m grieving God’s Spirit because I’m allowing my attitude to quench His Spirit. Bad attitudes have no place in the Holy Spirit, but joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control do (Gal 5:22). We are to live by the Spirit (Gal 5:25) and walk in love (Eph 5:2), not walk in and dwell on our bad attitudes.  

So, what does one do when their mood is so low they can’t see the light anymore? Well, for me, one thing is to be kind to someone; pray for others rather than myself; count my blessings, because a grateful heart won’t have room for bitterness or envy; and to quit being selfish. Seriously, I have to admit, my bad attitudes stem from selfishness. It may not be obvious at first, and I may have good “justifications” for my mood. But the reality is the fact that I’m frustrated that things haven’t gone the way I wanted them to go. Like the old saying goes, “The world doesn’t revolve around me,” so I need to learn to get over it. The truth is, life is short. Giving power to a bad attitude is wasting what little time you and I have to enjoy life. So I pray that the Holy Spirit gives us all the power to destroy the bad attitudes and let joy fill our hearts.