The Second Most Important Decision

It was an exciting evening.  Every seat was filled.  Shouts, cheers, and air-horns were everywhere. We saw fist-pumps and even victory dances.  No, it wasn’t a football game… it was a college graduation!  You can’t blame them, really, either the students or the parents, given the years of hard work and sacrifice, not to mention the thousands of dollars spent and/or borrowed to get to this momentous milestone.

The commencement speaker, the pastor of a large church in Hawaii, made an interesting point.  He told the graduates he was going to talk about the ‘second most important decision’ of their lives.  The first most important, of course, was the decision to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.  So, I thought, the second most important decision would be the choice of one’s spouse, wouldn’t you?  Nope. Not according to him.

The second most important decision of a person’s life, according to him, was the attitude with which one lives out the first decision.  Wow!  Great advice!  We’ve all known folks who are wonderful Christians, but their attitude… yikes!  The he said this… “Over the years, I’ve hired lots of people because of their skills and education,  but I’ve also fired lots of people…because of their attitude.”

Paul encourages the Ephesian church in this same thought…”You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.’  (Ephesians 4:22-24)  If you continue reading, he gives some very specific examples, then sums it all up at the beginning of the next chapter, urging the early Christians to “be imitators of God.” (Ephesians 5:1)

What an impact we as Christians could have on the world if we were truly made new in the attitude of our minds, and spent our days being imitators of God!   I think we’d try to look for the good and positive in the people whose lives intersect with ours.  I think we’d look for ways to be an encouragement to those around us.  I think we’d try to focus on the positive rather than the negative.  I think we’d think a whole lot less about ourselves and a whole lot more about other people.  I think our words would be sweeter, our smile would be brighter, our touch would be gentler.

And here’s the best part… we don’t have to just try to do it on our own.  (I don’t know about you, but I run across some pretty unlovely people from time to time.)  God’s Holy Spirit, living in us, can enable us to live this life with a holy attitude.

That’s something to celebrate!   Now where did I put my air-horn?

P.S.  Congratulations, Lindsay.  We’re proud of you.

Copyright 2010 – Mary Egidio – Permission is granted to copy this post, but with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.

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