Most have heard about the supposed importance of attitude in determining happiness and success.
Philosopher and psychologist William James said: “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.”
Charles (Chuck) Swindoll, Chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary, has been quoted as follows:
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, gifted ability, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home…….. I am convinced that life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it. And so it is with you....We are in charge of our Attitudes.
What is attitude anyway? The dictionary defines it as an emotion or feeling toward a fact or state. The question then becomes emotion or feeling about what particular fact or state.
I would venture to guess that the attitude under discussion is one’s general worldview, how one visualizes the state of the world and mankind and one’s place within that world. This attitude business then boils down to whether one is more optimistic or pessimistic in anticipation of the future.
That being said or assumed, I come to consider the impact of one’s theology on such an attitude. Imagine if you will a theology that states that mankind is basically flawed and largely doomed. Suppose that theology teaches an imminent total destruction of the universe and a final judgment. What if that theology makes me responsible in rescuing the few who will escape the consequences of these coming events? Would such a theology promote the kind of attitude which would lead to happiness, fulfillment, and a feeling of success?
If attitude is so important and we are looking to take charge of our attitude, why not start by examining our theology? It sounds like an obvious step to me.