The Meaning of Attitude in the Bible
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The Meaning of Attitude in the Bible

Your attitude matters. More than you realize, your outlook on life shapes your thoughts, feelings, and actions. The Bible has a lot to say about attitude and perspective. Looking at key passages, we can gain insight into how our attitude impacts our relationship with God and others. Developing a godly attitude takes intention, but it is possible with the Spirit’s help.


In this post, we will dive into biblical principles about attitude and explore practical ways to cultivate the right mindset. Attitude goes beyond emotions and moods – it involves your entire perspective and approach to people, circumstances, and God. Our attitudes are shaped by our beliefs, values, and habits. The Bible urges us to discard destructive outlooks rooted in the world’s ways of thinking and embrace an attitude aligned with God’s truth.

As we examine Scripture, keep an open heart. Ask the Lord to transform your mindset at the belief level. With an attitude aligned with His Word, you will experience more joy, peace, contentment, and love. You will become an encouragement to others and shine the light of Christ.

Key Takeaways:

  • Attitude involves your beliefs, values, perspectives, and approach to life. It impacts thoughts, emotions, and actions.
  • God cares deeply about our attitude. He urges us to reject worldly mindsets and renew our minds by His Word and Spirit.
  • Pride, ingratitude, criticism, gossip, greed, and bitterness reveal a wrong attitude that leads to sin.
  • Developing Christlike attitudes of humility, thankfulness, grace, love, and forgiveness pleases God and blesses others.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to align your attitude with God’s truth daily. Replace ungodly mindsets with His perspective.
  • Keeping an eternal perspective, abiding in Christ, meditating on Scripture, and praying shapes your attitude.
  • Your attitude affects your relationship with God. Let His Word transform your beliefs, values, and outlook.

The Heart Determines Your Attitude

Your heart drives your attitude. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Your thought patterns, beliefs, values, and perspectives shape your attitude. Internal beliefs manifest in outward words, facial expressions, and behaviors. When Scripture urges us to watch our heart, it refers to monitoring our inner world of assumptions, motives, and mindsets.

We tend to live life focusing on circumstances and others’ actions. But God cares most about our heart attitude. 1 Samuel 16:7 states, “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” People judge by external behaviors, but the Lord examines the internal source – our attitude. He wants us to nurture attitudes that align with His truth and resist poisonous mindsets the world promotes.

As Christians, we have the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit living within us. He guides us into truth and empowers us to live righteously (John 16:13, Romans 8:4-6). Make it your daily habit to ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any area that needs realignment. Invite Him to renew your mindset with biblical truth. As your attitude lines up with God’s Word, your life will display the fruit of the Spirit – “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Godly Attitudes Please the Lord

Certain attitudes deeply please and honor God. We can actively cultivate these mindsets by meditating on related Scripture verses and engaging with the Spirit in prayer. Here are godly attitudes that bless the Lord and others:


Humility involves an accurate view of yourself in light of God’s truth. It is not self-degradation but recognizing you are valued yet flawed. Ephesians 2:8-9 declares, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Because you did not earn salvation, humility is the proper response.

Philippians 2:3 encourages, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” View others as higher priority. Avoid pride and self-centeredness. Jesus modeled perfect humility. He washed the disciples’ feet, submitted to unjust crucifixion, and gave us His Spirit (John 13, Philippians 2:5-11). Ask God to clothe you in Christlike humility.


A grateful attitude recognizes God’s goodness and provision in every circumstance. It does not deny difficulties but chooses to praise instead of complain. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Thankfulness focuses less on your desires and more on God’s faithfulness. Each day, reflect on blessings you can thank the Lord for – from your salvation to simple things like health or a meal. “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34). Let thankfulness be your default attitude.

Grace and Forgiveness

Harboring unforgiveness reveals pride and bitterness in your heart. Ephesians 4:31-32 exhorts, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” God freely forgives all your sins, so you must freely forgive others.

Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart for hidden bitterness. Release anger and resentment. Choose by faith to forgive others just as Christ forgave you. Pray blessings over those who hurt you. God wants you to cultivate a gracious, forgiving attitude. It brings healing and freedom. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).


Make love your aim in thoughts, speech, and actions. Without loving sincerely from the heart, your attitude is empty. Jesus said the greatest commandments are to love God and love others (Matthew 22:36-40). Ask Him to fill you with His supernatural love.

Look for ways to demonstrate love – encourage someone feeling down, help a neighbor in need, show patience and kindness. “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14). You honor God when you love others from a heart aligned with Him.

Eternal Perspective

Maintaining an eternal perspective shapes your attitude. Colossians 3:2 urges you to, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Keep your focus on the Lord and His truth. Don’t get overly troubled by temporary problems and pursuits.

Remembering the brevity of life keeps your priorities straight. Live to fulfill God’s purposes and invest in eternal rewards rather than earthly goals the world champions. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). Ask the Spirit to renew your eternal perspective daily.

Ungodly Attitudes to Avoid

Certain mindsets displease God and damage relationships. Scripture repeatedly warns against unhealthy attitudes that lead to sinful words and actions. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you recognize and repent of ungodly attitudes that may subtly influence you. Here are some to guard against:

Pride and Self-Righteousness

While humility pleases God, pride repels Him. Psalm 138:6 states, “Though the Lord is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar.” Pride inflates your ego and takes credit rather than acknowledging God’s grace. It manifests in boasting, selfish-ambition, and looking down on others.

Self-righteousness adopts a judgmental, critical attitude that focuses on others’ flaws. But Jesus warned, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3). Approach others with grace remembering your own weaknesses. “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble'” (1 Peter 5:5).


Ingratitude involves ignoring or dishonoring God’s blessings. Despite the Lord’s daily grace and mercy, it is easy to complain instead of thanking Him. Paul warned of ungodly people in the last days who are “ungrateful” and “unholy” (2 Timothy 3:1-2). Do not conform to this pattern.

Make thankfulness part of your daily prayer life. Keep your mind focused on the goodness of the Lord. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). Gratitude keeps your heart aligned with God’s truth.

Gossip and Slander

Speaking negatively about others reveals bitterness, pride, or discontentment in your heart. Scripture urges you to avoid corrosive attitudes that lead to gossip and slander. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

Ask God to purify your heart and guard your tongue. Focus conversations on sharing wisdom and blessings others. The Lord wants you to have a “wholesome tongue [which] is a tree of life” (Proverbs 15:4). Refuse to partake in destructive speech.

Greed and Covetousness

The world promotes dissatisfaction and craving for more possessions, status, or comfort. But Scripture says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” (1 Timothy 6:6-7). Ask the Spirit to develop contentment in your heart.

Avoid coveting what others have. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you'” (Hebrews 13:5). Find your security in the Lord’s presence and provision, not earthly things. Let His peace guard your heart against anxious, discontented attitudes.

How Attitude Impacts Your Relationship with God

Your attitude directly impacts your friendship with God. If you harbor ungodly mindsets, it puts up a barrier in your relationship with the Lord. God wants to continually renew your beliefs and perspective to align with His truth. Here are ways your attitude affects your walk with God:

Receiving God’s Grace

To receive God’s empowering grace, you must embrace a mindset of humility. James 4:6 promises, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'” Approaching God with an attitude of self-sufficiency and pride blocks His grace.

Admit your need for the Lord’s daily grace and mercy. Thank Him for saving you, not based on your works, but only by His mercy. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Staying humble opens you to His provision.

Answered Prayer

Your attitude profoundly impacts your prayer life. Coming to God with thanksgiving, trust, and humility results in powerful answered prayer. But approaching Him with bitterness, doubt, or selfish motives hinders your requests.

Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24). Believe God hears and will answer. Thank Him in advance for His faithfulness. Pray with a submissive heart, seeking His perfect will above your own. Your attitude should be, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

Experiencing God’s Peace

To experience God’s perfect peace, you must adopt an attitude of trusting Him. Isaiah 26:3 promises, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Despite chaotic circumstances, you can have inward stability and rest by trusting the Lord.

Let go of anxiety, fear, and trying to control outcomes. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Keep your mindset fixed on the Lord.

Living in Holiness

Your attitude greatly determines your ability to resist temptation and walk in holiness. Taking on the mind of Christ enables you to deny ungodly desires. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).

Ask the Holy Spirit to align your perspective with God’s truth and empower you to act righteously. “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). Staying in Scripture protects you from destructive attitudes promoted in culture.

Cultivating a Godly Attitude

We have covered key principles about attitude from Scripture. As a believer, how can you actively develop a mindset that honors the Lord? Here are practical ways to cultivate a godly attitude:

Abide in Christ Through Scripture

Daily studying the Bible renews your mind. As you meditate on God’s truth, the Holy Spirit transforms your beliefs and perspective. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Make time to read and reflect on Scripture, allowing its truth to shape you. The Word exposes wrong mindsets and strengthens you to embrace godly attitudes. Let the “word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16). Be a lifelong student of the Bible.

Stay in Continual Prayer

Prayer keeps your heart and mind aligned with the Lord. Make it your habit to talk with God throughout the day. Thank Him for blessings and grace. Ask the Spirit to reveal any unhealthy attitudes. Submit all thoughts and decisions to the Lord for His wisdom and cleansing.

The Bible urges you to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This includes bringing both large and small decisions before God. Prayer safeguards your mindset as you give the Lord access to every area of your life. Staying connected to Him shapes your beliefs, values, and outlook.

Purposely Encourage Others

One powerful way to nurture godly attitudes is to intentionally encourage others. Find ways to build people up with your speech and actions. Send notes of appreciation. Compliment sincerely. Listen attentively and validate people’s feelings. Look for opportunities to help and give.

The Lord instructs, “Encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13). As you purposely bless others, your own heart will be filled with gratitude to God and compassion for people. Ungodly attitudes drain away when you live with a mindset of generously encouraging those around you.

Keep an Eternal Perspective

Make it a daily habit to meditate on the brevity and purpose of life. Remind yourself that each day could be your last. Imagine standing before Jesus face-to-face. Does your attitude align with how you want to be remembered? Set priorities that count for eternity.

Keeping the reality of heaven and Jesus’ return before you provides motivation to live wisely and invest in eternal rewards. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-2).

In Conclusion

As we have seen in Scripture, your attitude greatly impacts your relationship with God and others. The Lord cares deeply about your beliefs, thought patterns, values, and perspective that drive your words and actions. By God’s grace and Spirit, you can reject worldly attitudes and renew your mind daily in His truth. Maintain an eternal perspective. Stay humble and thankful through prayer. Let your attitude reflect the heart and mindset of Jesus. As you develop a Christlike attitude, you will walk in greater peace, contentment, and purpose. Your life will bear good fruit and point others to the goodness of God.

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.