Lesson 7: Attitude Adjustment
All of us have bad days. Things don’t always go our way all the time. Sometimes, we face difficulties with people or things and are tested to see if we will have a Godly attitude or not. Too often, we let our attitudes be determined by what our day is like. If things go well, we have a great attitude. If things go badly, we have a bad attitude. This week, we will learn how to take that bad attitude and DEAL WITH IT! We must remember that we have a choice whether or not we have a bad atti- tude. Our attitude is a choice. It is not determined by others. We should have the same attitude that Jesus had.
At Home Instructions
Big Idea You’ve Got A Choice, Don’t Be Rude, Choose To Have A Good Attitude!
Power Verse Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. - Philippians 2:5
PRESCHOOL & ELEMENTARY
Read Philippians 2:14-15 aloud to your children. Ask them why they think God wants us to shine like stars. Talk about how other people can come to know Christ by watching us.
Talk about each of the following bad attitudes we may have. Discuss what kinds of things people with that type of attitude might say or do. After you talk about each one, have a child take a crayon and color over the star.
- Whining * Criticizing * Bragging * Gossiping * Arguing * Complaining * Being a know-it-all
After you discuss all of the attitudes, have your children look at the star. Ask them how much of the star they can still see (depending on how hard they colored, they may not be able to see any at all). Tell them that when we have a bad attitude, it keeps other people from seeing God in our lives.
Read Philippians 2:1-5 and discuss some of the good attitudes God wants us to have. Talk about how those attitudes can make us shine brightly for God.
Pray together, asking God to help you change any bad attitudes that you have so that you can represent Him better to the world.
AGES 12 & UP
Have you ever met an older person (anyone older than you!) with a really bad attitude? Maybe you have a teacher who’s always criticizing everything. Or maybe you have a neighbor who gossips about everyone or complains constantly. More than likely, that attitude didn’t develop over night. In fact, a lot of bad attitudes that adults have began when they were young.
Below is a list of some characteristics of a good attitude that Paul mentions in Philippians 2:1-4. Discuss the list, and ask yourself honestly how well you do on each one.
•Think of others as better than yourself
Then read Philippians 2:5-11. Talk about some of the attitudes these verses show that Jesus had. Verse 6 says that Jesus gave up his rights—all of the things He was entitled to since He is God—so that we could be saved. What do verses 9-11 say God did as a result of Jesus giving up His rights? How can we apply this principle to our lives?
Pray together, asking God to help you with any bad attitudes you may struggle with. Thank Him for Jesus, who gives us the best example of the attitude we should have.
- Play: Family Devotion
Leader: Today we are going to be learning how to DEAL WITH a bad attitude.
Mr. Crabbe: (pops up) What’s going on here? Oh, it’s just you. I knew something smelt funny.
Leader: Mr. Crabbe! That’s not very nice. Say you are sorry.
Mr. Crabbe: OK, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you smell so bad.
Leader: Mr. Crabbe! You shouldn’t be mean to people like that.
Mr. Crabbe: Whatever. I can’t help it. I’m having a bad day.
Leader: What’s wrong?
Mr. Crabbe: Everything. First of all, my alarm clock didn’t go off this morning, so I was late for church. The clothes I wanted to wear were dirty, so I had to wear this ugly thing. The little bit of hair I have won’t cooperate. It’s going crazy! To top it all off, I had to bump into Silly Willy this morning, and he’s being annoying as usual. I am just not having a good day!
Leader: Well, I understand things aren’t going well for you, Mr. Crabbe. But, that’s no reason to have such a bad attitude.
Mr. Crabbe: Well, of course it is. I can’t help it if I have a bad attitude. I am having a bad day, so my attitude’s not my fault.
Leader: Well, actually it is. You see, we are learning today about how to DEAL WITH a bad attitude. A lot of times, when things don’t go the way we want them to, we choose to have a bad attitude. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You see, our attitude is our choice. We don’t have to have a bad attitude. We can choose to have the same attitude that Jesus had.
Mr. Crabbe: I don’t know what you’re talking about. If you want me to have a good attitude, then you better fix all my problems.
Leader: I don’t think that’s what Jesus was like. You know, things didn’t always go perfectly for Him either. Some days people followed Him and listened to Him. Other days, people were angry with Him. One day, people even got so mad at Him that they beat Him and nailed Him to a cross. But, He never ever treated them bad or had a bad attitude.
Mr. Crabbe: Really? Well, I don’t know if I can do that. Having a good attitude is not easy.
Leader: I know. But, just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean we can’t do it. I want you to stick around and listen to what we learn today. I think you will find out that our attitude is our choice, and we should always have the same attitude that Jesus had. It’s not easy, but He can help us.
Mr. Crabbe: All right, I guess. But, I am not sure this will work for me. I’m Mr. Crabbe remember?
Leader: I know it won’t be easy, but I think God can take care of even the stinkiest of bad attitudes.
Mr. Crabbe: All right, fine. But, in the meantime can you tell the boys to keep their shoes on? Otherwise, there’ll be more than attitudes that are stinky.
Leader: Oh, Mr. Crabbe. Say goodbye.
Mr. Crabbe: Goodbye, stinky boys!
Leader: Goodbye, Mr. Crabbe. I tell you what, kids. Today’s lesson is going to help us a lot. We all struggle with our attitudes from time to time. I think today will help us to learn how to take that bad attitude and DEAL WITH IT.
You know kids, one of the hardest times of the day to have a good attitude is when we first get up in the morning to get ready for school. We’re tired, we’re cranky, and our attitudes can be pretty stinky. So, let’s play a game called, ’Wake up, sleepyhead!
Choose two kids to compete in the game. Have the kids lie down as if they are asleep in bed. When the alarm clock goes off (music begins) they are to get up, put on their clothes, eat breakfast (pop tart and milk), get their backpacks and rush off to school. The first one to make it through all the tasks and to the finish line is the winner. The key is: They MUST have a smile the whole time (no bad attitudes).
Prepare each of your leaders or children by rehearsing with them the parts they are acting out. Make sure they know their cue when to come on and off the stage.
Today we are learning about how to DEAL WITH a bad attitude. Many times we have an attitude that is terrible and needs an “Attitude Adjustment.” An “Attitude Adjusment” means that we have to DEAL WITH the bad attitude and turn it into a good attitude.
If we are going to have the right attitude and not a bad attitude, we need to be able to tell the difference, right? We need to be able to identify when we see a Godly attitude and when we see a bad, stinky attitude.
So, we’re going to do a little exercise to help us do just that. I have a few helpers who are going to act out scenes from our lives and we are going to decide whether they have a Godly attitude or a stinky attitude.
(First person comes up with a large sucker.)
Attitude #1: Hey Mom. I know we are about to eat dinner, but could I have this sucker? (pause, then begin to complain) But, Mom, why not? That’s not fair! I want to eat it! I want to eat it!”
Well, what do you think? We are going to vote. If you think it was a Godly attitude, say, “WOO HOO!” (wait for response) If you think it was a bad, stinky attitude, say, “PEE YEW!” (wait for response) That’s exactly right. That was a stinky attitude. We shouldn’t argue with our parents or complain when they tell us to do something we may not agree with. That’s not what Jesus would have done.
(Second person comes up with a band-aid on their finger.)
Attitude #2: "It’s OK, Randy. I know you cut my finger, but I am sure it was an accident. I forgive you.”
How about that one, kids? WOO HOO or PEE YEW? (wait for response) That’s right! That was the right attitude, so we give it a WOO HOO! Even though the friend had accidentally hurt his (her) finger, he (she) still had the right attitude and forgave them.
(Third person comes up with a video game controller in his or her hands, acting like he or she is playing a game.)
Attitude #3: (Off-stage a woman yells, “Jeffery?”) “Yes, Mom?” (Voice says, “I need you to take out the trash for me, please.”) “But, I am playing a game.” (“I need you to do it anyway, please.”) “But, MOM! I don’t want to take out the trash!” (“Jeffery, NOW!”) “Man, it’s so dumb that I have to do everything you say all the time.”
How about that one, kids? WOO HOO or PEE YEW? (wait for response) That’s right! That was a rotten attitude, stinky as they come. When we are asked to help around the house, we should be willing to do whatever it takes to help our family. Well, how about one more. You want one more? OK, here it is.
(Fourth person comes up with a pile of books in his or her hands.)
Attitude #4: “I wanted to go over to my friend’s house this weekend, but Mrs. Barnes gave us a whole lot of homework. I am really disappointed, but I know my schoolwork has to come first. I can go over to my friend’s house another day.”
How about that one, kids? WOO HOO or PEE YEW? (wait for response) That’s right! That was the right attitude so we give it a WOO HOO! Even though he (she) was disappointed about having so much homework, he (she) didn’t complain and made the right choice. Let’s give a hand to our helpers today!
Well, now that we know the difference between a Godly attitude and a bad attitude, the BIG question is HOW do we make the right choice and choose the Godly attitude. It’s not the easy choice, but it is the right choice.
You must remember three things if you are going to make the right choice and have the Godly attitude and DEAL WITH the bad attitude:
There’s no way to avoid problems. Your hair is going to mess up, people are going to get mad at you, and things are not going to always go your way. A lot of people think that just by becoming a Christian you end up having a perfect life. Not so. Problems come to Christians just like they come to everybody.
Many people are just like Mr. Crabbe and try to blame their bad attitude on others. They say, “Well, so and so made me act that way.” Or they might say, “Well, if such and such hadn’t happened, I would’ve had a better attitude today.” Basically, they are saying they have no control over their own attitudes and that everything is determined by someone else.
The truth is, our attitude is our choice. Nobody can choose your attitude for you. It’s like the little boy who was sitting down in church and his mom told him to stand up. He said he would rather sit down. She told him he had to stand up. He stood up and told her, “I may be standing up on the outside, but I am sitting down on the inside.” You see, his mom could make him stand up, but she could not choose his attitude for him. On the inside he still had the stinky attitude.
I wish I could tell you that the moment you ask Jesus into your heart everything will be perfect, but it just isn’t true. Even Jesus Himself had bad days. There were days that people treated him unfairly. There were days when His own disciples disobeyed Him and turned their backs on Him. We must make the right choice every day to have the same attitude as Jesus.
Our Power Verse today says, “Your attitude should be the same as Jesus Christ had.” What kind of attitude was that? Well, when His disciples turned away from Him and disappointed Him, He didn’t get mad at them and scream at them. He forgave them.
When He was a little boy and His parents asked Him to do things He didn’t want to do, He didn’t kick and scream and throw a fit. He obeyed. The Bible says He never once sinned by disobeying His parents.
When people came against Him and arrested Him, beat Him, and nailed Him to a cross, even though He was innocent and had done nothing wrong, He didn’t get angry with them, He prayed for them.
You see, it’s not easy to have the right attitude when things don’t go our way; but, if we are going to do what God wants us to do, we have to make the right choice and choose to have a Godly attitude, not a bad attitude. Is that easy to do? No, we need God’s help to DEAL WITH IT. But, with His help we can make the right choice for the right attitude.
(Play soft music) Lead the children in a prayer of repentance for having the wrong attitudes at times. Pray that God will help them to choose the right attitude, just as Jesus did. Pray that with God’s help, they will make the right choice for the right attitude.
What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: You’ve Got A Choice, Don’t Be Rude, Choose To Have A Good Attitude!
Was Mr. Crabbe’s attitude right when he first came up? Answer: No
When we have a bad attitude, is it always our fault? Answer: Yes, because our attitude is our choice
Do Christians ever have bad days? Answer: Yes
When things don’t go our way, whose choice is it as to what kind of attitude we will have? Answer: it’s our choice
True or False: It’s OK to have a bad attitude sometimes. Answer: False
Did Jesus ever have a bad attitude? Answer: No
Do we have a choice as to what kind of attitude we have? Answer: Yes
Our Power Verse said, “Your attitude should be the same as ______________ ________________ had.” Answer: Christ Jesus
Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: Philippians 2:5