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OPINION: Your attitude and your effort

Yesterday, I celebrated my 24th birthday. I know that’s not the biggest milestone in the world (unless you are talking to the small children at my church), but to me it’s a pretty big deal. Lord willing, I still have a lot to learn in my coming years, but I like to think that I have gathered a plethora of useful information in my almost quarter of a life. As I was contemplating what I do know and what I still have to learn, I came across something on Facebook.

My pastor posted something awhile back and it got me thinking. His post was about how there are really only two things in your life that you personally can control: your attitude and your effort.

When I stopped to think about it, I realized that he had a point. Of all the things in life that come our way, mess up our plans or throw us off course, we do have the power to control how we act in those circumstances and what effort we will put into making it better.

Attitude is everything. Your outlook on life can truly make or break the way you handle happiness, sadness, trials and tribulations. I like to think of myself as a “glass half full” kind of gal, personally.

No matter the situation, I like to try to find the positive aspects to make things better. While this is usually annoying to the pessimists and realists around me, I can’t imagine how my life would be if I didn’t have a large dose of positivity constantly swirling around in my head.

In order to fight the temptation to give in and give up, you have to keep your attitude upbeat.

It’s also key to remember that these trials that come our way are not just coincidences. The enemy is constantly prowling around looking for people he can take down or feelings he can hurt. With this in mind, remember that the next time someone makes you mad, cuts in line or takes the last muffin from the machine, that acting out will only let Satan in. Don’t give in, and don’t let him feed off of your emotions.

We as humans are very emotional beings, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s when we let our lives be defined and controlled by those emotions that things tend to spiral out of control.

This is where effort comes in. In order to fight these problems, you have to make a conscious effort against it. It won’t magically happen. You won’t just wake up one morning and be able to handle every single spat, quarrel and argument that comes your way. It will take work. But like they say, anything in life worth having is worth working for.

It’s something that takes work, which isn’t really something that people like to do nowadays, but if you do take time to work on the attitude and effort, it will yield amazing results. You can literally feel your environment shift and change for the better.

As with any big decisions, be warry of the naysayers, and remember Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Your fight is not against each other, so don’t treat people like the enemy. Treat the enemy like the enemy. Your attitude and your effort are your responsibility to control. Don’t take that responsibility lightly; it could make or break you.