Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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I think there was a time when people thought workers were demonstrating loyalty and nobility if they showed up for their job even if they felt sicker than a dog. More and more, people think you're not very smart if you do that! You may be one of those who drags yourself into work no matter how sick you are. You're there, all right, but so are your coughs, your sneezes, and your "cooties." Strangely, over the next few days, one co-worker after another comes down with symptoms that look suspiciously like what you brought to work with you. The poet was right, "no man is an island!" You're contagious!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "What People Catch From You."
The truth is we're all contagious even when we're healthy. It's not just physical germs we spread; we spread an attitude wherever we are! And while the process of people around you catching your attitude may be as invisible as the transmission of germs, the results are just as real. They can get "sick" from being around you, or they can actually feel better because they've been around you.
General Dwight Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in World War II, revealed an important understanding of the leadership that we all exercise when he said this: "Optimism and pessimism are infectious and they spread more rapidly from the head downward than in any other direction." A husband infects his wife with whatever attitude he brings home-positive or negative. If you're wondering why she's acting in a way you don't like, maybe you should look in the mirror for the answer. A parent spreads their attitude to their children, a boss to his employees, a worker to his or her co-workers, a Christian leader to those who serve with him. A friend infects other friends with the health or the sickness of their attitude.
In 1 Samuel 30, beginning with verse 6, our word for today from the Word of God, we can see a vivid picture-both positive and negative-of how the attitude contagion works. In this case, the sick attitude almost destroyed David's little band of soldiers. But one healthy attitude saved the day and it turned the tide of the battle. While David and his men have been gone, their bitter enemies, the Amalekites, have invaded their camp, captured their families, and plundered their camp. Verse 6 tells us that "David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters." You've got bitterness here, blaming, despair-those deadly viruses were spreading from one soldier to another because of the way they responded to this tragedy, to this defeat.
"But," the Bible says, "David found strength in the Lord his God." He spread that strength to his men and he led them in a surprise attack that routed the Amalekites and took back everything the enemy had stolen. When you get your perspective on the situation from God rather than your feelings or the circumstances, you can turn the tide with a winning attitude.
Which leads to the question of the day: "What kind of attitude are you spreading where you are?" Are you spreading joy or discouragement? Are you spreading confidence or fear? Is it encouragement or negativity? Are you leaving a trail of tenderness, or is it harshness? Stress or peace? Do you spread faith or do you spread unbelief? Do you spread prayer or do you spread worry?
You are affecting the people you live with, the people you work with, the people you serve with. You are contagious, whether you realize it or not. Make their hearts lighter, not heavier. Give them reason to hope, reason to believe, not reason to despair. Those in whom the living Christ dwells have no excuse for spreading germs that make people sick in their heart and their soul!