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Maple Leaf - Canada  Local Congregation
Edmonton, Alberta

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By: Robert Berendt (published October 11, 2018)

There is no creature on earth that comes near the one that surpasses all the rest. That is the human being who has no equal. At the beginning God stated that man would have dominion over the earth and all living things. He would be able to subdue the earth and control all the animals. But Adam and Eve soon turned away from God and the result was that God did not make things easy for them in life. Eve would have some troubles and be somewhat dominated by Adam, and Adam would face a number of troubles in providing food, shelter and clothing (Gen. 1:26-28, Gen. 2:16-19). On top of that God would put enmity between the serpent (Satan) and mankind. God loved what He had created and was not about to simply throw it away and destroy it, but He was determined to help humans to develop toward becoming His children and heirs of all He had created (Rom. 8:16,17).

Adam and Eve would have to work hard, build a home for themselves, take care of providing food and clothing and bring into being a family. That family has grown into all of humanity today. We look about us in the world and see a wide variety of people at all stages of life. It took thousands of years for mankind to really come to the place where they have control over almost everything on earth. We only need to look back a few hundred years to find people toiling by hand long hours in the fields for food. We see success in farming controlled by weather, infestation of insects, errors in judgment by many, and above all hard work required to eke out a living in many places. We also see progress, albeit slow, toward lessening the load of heavy work that was required. We see plagues and diseases wiping out large segments of the population as humans struggled to understand things like the black plague, smallpox, lethal varieties of the flu, infections that poisoned the body and a whole host of circumstances and events that made life difficult and short. The population on earth was kept small by plagues that erased huge numbers of people. Babies died at birth and people suffered from the elements all over the world.

Today we see that great strides of progress have been made in almost everything man has put his hand to. The potential God initially gave to humans to control almost everything about them on earth is now being realized as never before. History reveals a frightening account of the struggles that happened in every corner of the world. We humans have added greatly to our own sorrows through wars, greed, selfishness, ignorance, laziness, stubbornness and a whole host of mind sets that have prevented us from using the wonderful gifts God has given. In created humans, God somehow also added gifts to each one. Those gifts would be spiritually given as the spirit of man was added to each human that was born. Those gifts can be a talent for design, artistic works and all manner of workmanship (Exod. 31:4,5). They can be gifts of music, speaking, teaching, ability to learn and more (I Cor. 12:28-31). To some God made tremendous promises of success that were greater than anyone had ever received. One such example was the gifts given to Solomon (I Kings 3:11-13). Solomon began to carefully seek God in all things and was blessed more than any other king. He built the temple that was to replace the moveable tabernacle with the zeal that his father King David had shown. God was pleased, but God cautioned Solomon with the same important lesson we must all learn. That is the attitude with which we seek and follow our Creator. Attitude is everything as it impacts our lives and our bond with our heavenly Father and His Son. God warned Solomon to hold to the course and never go astray. God would do His part if Solomon did his (I Kings 9:19). Solomon's attitude changed and he failed to achieve his potential. He brought idols into the temple and God turned from him.

Your attitude to something is the way that you think and feel about it, especially when this shows in the way you behave. An attitude towards something or someone can change over time or suddenly, depending on what a person perceives. King Solomon was so successful that he forgot the source of his success. Often in the life of a person, events come along that impact the attitude. Vanity and ego seem to present a constant pressure on anyone who is successful. Solomon's son Rehoboam became the king after Solomon died and his attitude of distain toward his father and the people brought about the loss of all the greatness that God had blessed Israel with (I Kings 12:10). When King Saul was king for a number of years, his attitude changed from a person who at first was humble and capable, one who was small in his own sight to a person who became a king that grew careless with his responsibilities toward God. His attitude toward the instructions of God changed from humble obedience to careless self-indulgence (I Sam. 15:17-23). In the history of mankind, sudden strong feelings of jealousy or greed have caused people to make great errors. Conquering nations felt strong by destroying all the progress, writings and advances the defeated nations had made. That brought about the loss of progress in a number of fronts.

Since the error of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, mankind has had success or failure according to his attitude. Paul wrote the importance of attitude into his letter to the Corinthian church. "I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified" (I Cor. 9:27). Numerous accounts exist about people with tremendous gifts of music, art, leadership, intelligence and other abilities who have squandered their gifts because they developed an attitude that curtailed their efforts. The institution of marriage that God put in place is the union of two people who will have varying shifts in attitude over the years. Their success in marriage will depend upon the degree to which they can maintain their focus on what a marriage ought to be and not allow changes that come to us all, impact the way in which they love one another. Attitudes can change for the better. The right, good and proper attitude is more important than education, wealth, circumstances, gifts of various talents and skills. Without an attitude that aids us in properly using the abilities and skills we have, we will stumble through our lives. Successes in science and that which makes life easier today and which reflect control over the earth as God offered, are due to attitude. Attitude is the supreme element in our lives as it controls all else. God is seeking those with the attitude that He can bless and use when He gives the gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:23). Through the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has completed His plan of salvation. It requires only the effort we humans give and that is guided by our attitude. That reward and inheritance follows a time of testing and development for each person (I Pet. 1:3-8). We have the ability to renew our attitude every day. You are in charge of yours. Check it daily for the reward is priceless (I Pet. 1:13-17). Walk humbly with Him.

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