A Christian decides many times every day whether he will follow God’s plan for his life. In decisions great or small he expresses either his dependence on the Lord or his desire to be independent of God’s direction. A believer has access to the perfect plan of God for his life, a plan which has certain predetermined divine standards by which every situation can be measured, by which every decisive opportunity can be judged. Many promises and blessings are available for use by the person who orders his life according to the patterns laid out in the Bible.
The person who is not positive to the plan of God, and who would apply his own human standards to life situations, does not operate by divine standards. He becomes involved in a variety of mental attitude sin problems stemming from his original decision to be independent of God. His life takes on the characteristics of one who does not “think Grace”.
The Grace of God is that characteristic of His which is an extension of His love for the human race and which causes Him to provide for every human need for time and eternity. The sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the Cross was the Work which made it possible for God to view every person as free from the guilt of sin and as an object of God’s Grace provisions.
Failure to order one’s thinking according to Grace involves several aspects of mental attitude sin, including the following :
A spirit of pride – this is an exalted feeling based on personal success or position, or based on good training or education, on personal appearance, or on some natural gift or ability. Sinful pride is an inner feeling of self-importance which does not take into account God’s provision of every resource and quality which goes into one’s human traits and capabilities.
Love of, or desire for, human approbation and praise – this is a secret fondness for being noticed and recognized. It is a love of supremacy, or it is the drawing of attention to oneself by various types of exhibitionism or by spiritual one-upmanship.
Self will – this is the concept of the stubborn or unteachable nature, or implacability. Self will is a disposition to be argumentative, harsh, bitter, which causes one to be a “nit picker” or critical in the extreme, or to mind the business of others, or to fail to recognize the rights and privacy of others.
Sinful reaction to social pressures – these are the sins of anger, impatience, touchiness, or of having a sensitive nature. There is often resentment and retaliation when disapproved or contradicted. This area of sin generates jealousy, sour grapes, envy, and the accompanying bitterness, hatred, carrying of grudges, revenge tactics, and so forth.
Magnifying the faults and failings of others while emphasizing one’s own virtues.
Negative disposition – this is peevishness, a fretful disposition, one that loves to be coaxed and honored. It is a dishonest, deceitful attitude. It is a disposition that tends toward discouragement and despondency under pressure along with the attempt to solve one’s problems by hysteria and tantrums.
Apathy – this sin is that of indifference to doctrine and to the Word of God in general. It is indifferences to the lost condition of unbelievers or to the carnal condition of other believers.