“It’s a good day for my bad attitude!” If that slogan’s speaking your language right about now, perhaps you should consider joining me this week to discover what the Bible says about attitudes. Could be a ‘tude adjustment is in order!
“Your platitudes are as valuable as ashes. Your defense is as fragile as a clay pot.
Job 13:12, NLT
Ever had friends fake-help you through a difficult time by giving you their rundown of the situation? They lob lofty-sounding quotes, impromptu analyses, and reasons for your dilemma. You feel worst than you did before their “help”! Today’s Dose verse reflects what Job said to his friends when he encountered their “help” concerning his suffering. He didn’t value their words.
The ERV reads, “The wise sayings you quote are worthless. Your arguments are as weak as clay.” I don’t believe that all platitudes are worthless. At times, one spoken at the right time and in the correct way brought me exactly the comfort I needed and appreciated. It’s empty platitudes that bring no comfort or cause for appreciation.
An attitude of platitudes makes empty platitudes one’s go-to solution. It’s displayed when we routinely and carelessly offer empty platitudes to those who hurt, giving little thought as to whether our words are really helping them or not. This attitude makes us feel better that we said something “wise” while simultaneously preventing us from seeing that we really said nothing substantive at all.
Some of these empty platitudes are things that sound like they should come from the Bible, but don’t such as “God helps those who help themselves.” Others are our misinterpretations of Scripture: “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Perhaps the most damaging display of this attitude is when we (like Job’s friends) act as if we have all the answers to another’s problems. Job got upset with his friends because they were talking out of turn and authority and not helping. They came off as speaking for God.
Don’t we do that sometimes? I know I’ve been guilty of this practice. We feel compelled to say something, anything, to make an uncomfortable situation easier. We rarely have the full story, God has not appointed us His spokesperson, but we proceed as if we do and He has! Does that reflect the attitude of Christ that we want to display? Christ’s love is displayed through an attitude of compassion. Why not tell our hurting friend that we’re available for them (to, stay, listen, pray, and empathize) or ask how we can help?
When Christ did this, people knew that He cared for them. That’s one reason I know He cares for me! Love endures (I Cor. 13:7).
An attitude of hasty empty platitudes won’t give people hope; an attitude of steadfast compassion will.
Compassion over platitudes,