ATTITUDE Sermon Illustrations

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ATTITUDE


Sermon Illustrations

ATTITUDE

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: To choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's way.   

Viktor Frankl, concentration camp survivor. Philippians 2:12-18.


Joe Theismann enjoyed an illustrious 12-year career as quarterback of the Washington Redskins. He led the team to two Super Bowl appearances--winning in 1983 before losing the following year. When a leg injury forced him out of football in 1985, he was entrenched in the record books as Washington's all-time leading passer. Still, the tail end of Theismann's career taught him a bitter lesson: I got stagnant. I thought the team revolved around me. I should have known it was time to go when I didn't care whether a pass hit Art Monk in the 8 or the 1 on his uniform. When we went back to the Super Bowl, my approach had changed. I was griping about the weather, my shoes, practice times, everything.

Today I wear my two rings--the winner's ring from Super Bowl XVII and the loser's ring from Super Bowl XVIII. The difference in those two rings lies in applying oneself and not accepting anything but the best. 

Reader's Digest, January, 1992.


In The Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient, Norman Cousins tells of being hospitalized with a rare, crippling disease. When he was diagnosed as incurable, Cousins checked out of the hospital. Aware of the harmful effects that negative emotions can have on the body, Cousins reasoned the reverse was true. So he borrowed a movie projector and prescribed his own treatment, consisting of Marx Brothers films and old "Candid Camera" reruns. It didn't take long for him to discover that 10 minutes of laughter provided two hours of pain free sleep. Amazingly, his debilitating disease was eventually reversed. After the account of his victory appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Cousins received more than 3000 letters from appreciative physicians throughout the world. 

Today in the Word, MBI, December 18, 1991.


A person's mental attitude has an almost unbelievable effect on his powers, both physical and psychological. The British psychiatrist, J.A. Hadfield, gives a striking illustration of this fact in his booklet, The Psychology of Power. "I asked three people," he wrote, "to submit themselves to test the effect of mental suggestion on their strength, which was measured by gripping a dynamometer." They were to grip the dynamometer with all their strength under three different sets of conditions. First he tested them under normal conditions. The average grip was 101 pounds. Then he tested them after he had hypnotized them and told them that they were very weak. Their average grip this time was only 29 pounds! In the third test Dr. Hadfield told them under hypnosis that they were very strong. The average grip jumped to 142 pounds. 

Bits & Pieces, May, 1991, p. 15.


Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over our nation's deserts. All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants. The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life. Each bird finds what it is looking for. We all do. 

Steve Goodier, Quote Magazine, in Reader's Digest, May, 1990.


The noted English architect Sir Christopher Wren was supervising the construction of a magnificent cathedral in London. A journalist thought it would be interesting to interview some of the workers, so he chose three and asked them this question, "What are you doing?" The first replied, "I'm cutting stone for 10 shillings a day." The next answered, "I'm putting in 10 hours a day on this job." But the third said, "I'm helping Sir Christopher Wren construct one of London's greatest cathedrals."

Source Unknown.


A chaplain was speaking to a soldier on a cot in a hospital. "You have lost an arm in the great cause," he said. "No," said the soldier with a smile. "I didn't lose it--I gave it." In that same way, Jesus did not lose His life. He gave it purposefully.

Source Unknown.




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