As Christians, our attitudes should reflect the character and teachings of Jesus Christ. The Bible provides us with many examples that demonstrate the attitudes God desires for His people. In this post, we will explore some key passages that illustrate godly attitudes we should seek to develop in our own lives.
Our attitudes directly impact how we think, speak, and act. A godly attitude stems from a transformed heart and mind that is being renewed by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2). An ungodly attitude reveals a heart that is still dominated by the flesh. As believers, God calls us to take on the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and reflect His character in our own.
The Bible provides us with many examples of positive and negative attitudes. By examining the lives and examples of biblical figures, we can gain wisdom for developing Christlike attitudes that honor God and serve others.
Here are three key takeaways about cultivating godly attitudes:
- Godly attitudes are rooted in humility, faith, and love.
- Ungodly attitudes are marked by pride, fear, and selfishness.
- Our attitudes are shaped by what we focus our thoughts upon.
As we explore biblical examples of attitudes in this post, prayerfully reflect on your own heart and ask the Holy Spirit to transform your attitudes to align with God’s will.
Humility is an attitude that recognizes our human limitations and dependence on God. The opposite of humility is pride – an inflated view of ourselves and a failure to acknowledge God’s authority in our lives. Here are some examples of humility in Scripture:
In (Philippians 2:5-8), Paul instructs us to have the same attitude as Christ Jesus who humbled Himself by taking on human form and dying on the cross for our salvation. Though Jesus was God, He willingly laid aside the privileges of His divinity to serve us. This models perfect humility.
In contrast, we see the dangers of pride in King Nebuchadnezzar’s life in (Daniel 4). God humbles the king by making him live like an animal until Nebuchadnezzar recognizes God’s sovereignty. Afterward, the king is restored to power with a spirit of humility.
(James 4:10) encourages us, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” As we humble ourselves through confession, repentance, and submission to God, He responds with grace.
Humility acknowledges that every good thing we possess comes from God alone. It keeps our focus on Christ instead of ourselves. Developing a humble attitude takes intentionality, but it is foundational for spiritual growth.
Hebrews 11 defines faith as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). It is an attitude of trust in God even when we cannot physically see the outcome. Some examples of faith in the Bible include:
Noah demonstrated remarkable faith when God instructed him to build an ark to survive a coming flood that had never occurred before (Genesis 6-9). Despite having no visible evidence, Noah obeyed God’s warning and constructed the ark out of faith in what was to come.
In (Joshua 6), we read the famous story of the walls of Jericho falling down after the Israelites marched around the city continually for seven days as the Lord commanded. It seemed foolish, but they followed God’s instructions out of faith, and He delivered Jericho into their hands.
Perhaps one of the greatest examples of faith is Abraham, who God promised would become the father of many nations even though he and his wife Sarah were already very old and had no children (Genesis 15-21). Against all odds, Abraham believed God’s promise, and it came to pass.
Living by faith means clinging to the promises of God even when we cannot foresee the outcome. As (Hebrews 11:6) states, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Our confidence must rest in who God is, not what we can see or control.
The Bible makes it clear that love should be the defining attitude of anyone who follows Christ. (1 Corinthians 13) provides an entire chapter explaining the superiority and necessity of Christlike love.
In (John 13:34-35), Jesus establishes love as the distinguishing mark of His disciples: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Loving others – even our enemies – is a non-negotiable for Christians.
Jesus perfectly modeled sacrificial, servant-hearted love during His ministry on earth. He declares that “greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). And that is exactly what He did for us on the cross.
As followers of Christ, we must ask the Holy Spirit to cultivate love within us, so it becomes our natural attitude toward others. (1 John 4:7-8) reminds us, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
In contrast to godly attitudes, the Bible also provides us with examples of ungodly attitudes that we should avoid. Pride is perhaps the most destructive attitude mentioned in Scripture. Here are some examples:
As already mentioned, King Nebuchadnezzar displayed immense pride which led to God humbling him in dramatic fashion until he recognized God’s sovereignty over all earthly kings (Daniel 4:28-37).
In the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14), Jesus condemns the religious arrogance of the Pharisee who was confident in his own righteousness while looking down on others. Meanwhile, the humble tax collector who cried out for mercy was justified before God.
Proverbs 16:18 issues this warning: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Pride blinds us to our weaknesses and exaggerates our abilities, leading to downfall. But “humility comes before honor” (Proverbs 18:12).
As believers, we must guard our hearts against pride by regularly reflecting on the depths of Christ’s sacrifice for us. Any good in our lives is only by God’s grace at work within us. Maintaining an attitude of humility keeps us dependent on God rather than ourselves.
Fear is an attitude of dread and anxiety focused on unknown or unlikely outcomes. While godly fear shows reverence toward God, ungodly fear reveals a lack of trust in God’s power and purpose. Consider these examples:
Martha was “worried and upset about many things” when hosting Jesus in her home, while her sister Mary sat peacefully at the Lord’s feet (Luke 10:38-42). Jesus gently rebuked Martha’s anxious attitude and commended Mary’s.
During a storm at sea, the disciples panicked while Jesus remained calm and in control (Mark 4:35-41). Jesus questioned why they were so fearful given His presence with them. Our fear exposes our lack of faith in God.
Many instances in Scripture show godly people declaring “do not fear” because God is near and in control. As Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” We can rest in His perfect love which casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).
As we entrust our lives fully to the Lord each day, He fills us with supernatural peace and courage. A mindset of faith drives out fear and anxiety. Ask the Holy Spirit to guard your heart against ungodly fear.
Our sinful flesh naturally promotes self-absorption – caring about our own interests above others. But Scripture instructs us to do nothing out of selfish ambition (Philippians 2:3). Here are some examples:
The early church grew rapidly in part because the believers “shared everything they had” and “were one in heart and mind” instead of selfishly hoarding resources (Acts 4:32-35).
By contrast, Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead for lying about withholding money from the church community for their own gain (Acts 5:1-11). This reflected selfish attitudes of greed and deception.
Jesus continuously modeled selfless attitudes by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and washing the disciples feet – acts of service that put others first. He calls us to follow His example, saying “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:26).
Combating selfish ambition with selfless attitudes happens one choice at a time. Ask God each day for opportunities to generously serve others, not yourself. This reflects the attitude of Christ.
Our Thought Life
Our attitudes are profoundly shaped by what we allow our minds to dwell upon. (Philippians 4:8) encourages us to think upon things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. But what we meditate on surfaces in our attitudes. Consider these powerful verses:
“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you dwell consistently on God’s truth and grace, not the fearful deception of our culture. As we soak in biblical wisdom, our attitudes transform to reflect Christ.
Developing godly attitudes is vital for our spiritual growth and for representing Jesus well to others. May we humbly depend on the Holy Spirit’s work within us to shape our attitudes to match Christ’s, not the world’s ways. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control should flow from a heart that is fully devoted to God (Galatians 5:22-23).
I hope reflecting on these biblical examples of godly and ungodly attitudes provided wisdom and encouragement for your walk with Jesus. Our attitudes indicate what we truly treasure. Let’s treasure Christ above all so that our thoughts, words and actions honor Him.