Sunday, June 7, 2015

Attitude Shirts and the Kingdom Life

You have seen them around. Sometimes they are called “attitude shirts.” They openly broadcast to the world what not everybody verbalizes but what an awful lot of people have going on inside them. Search Google or Bing Images or sample a few of these:

  • I’m not shy. I just don’t like you.
  • If I throw a stick will you leave.
  • My attitude: 70% sarcasm; 20% don’t care; 10% lazy = 100% Awesome!
  • I can’t hear you, but you are still wrong.
  • I wake up with a good attitude every day; then idiots happen.
  • Do I look like the help desk?
  • I love my cats. People: not so much.

Yes, some of these are clever and funny, but it is not really funny when people live like this and treat other people with these kinds of attitudes overflowing from their hearts. And it happens all the time, day after day in homes, offices, schools, dorms, you name it.

Being a follower of Jesus is not about keeping a list of rules. Its not about having an outstanding performance. It is not about trying to impress anyone. More than anything else, it is about living life with a whole new attitude--with “the Kingdom attitudes” (see Matthew 5:1-12). And all because you now see life so differently.

And if you ever get a mental block and forget what your attitude should be, you can take the list of popular attitudes we just looked at (or add your own by reading tee shirts and bumper stickers) and THEN  go to the total opposite end of the continuum, and there you will likely find yourself in the Kingdom attitudes. Give it a try. You won’t be far off.

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…” Philippians 2:5 (NIV)


  1. Toni LaGatta sent this comment to be posted:
    When I see some of those shirts it makes me sad about the person inside of them...what has happened to make them want to proclaim to the world such mad, sad, selfish or indifferent or hopeless attitudes?! I want to go up and ask "do you really feel that way? And why?" That may not always be safe or appropriate, but I could try more often to share with them...sometimes people proclaim those attitudes wondering if someone might come along with hope of a different attitude...I'm so glad someone did for me!

  2. So sad. That is so true Toni! We once encountered a teen with a terribly offensive shirt (foul language) on and approached him. We told him we had our kids with us and would hate for them to read what was on his shirt. HIs family gave him a hard time about it too. I think he eventually put a jacket on or another shirt over it. Not sure. But it's sad and really hard to discern when to approach someone.
    I also think, if my t-shirt could magically reveal what's in my heart/mind at times, it might be scary! Good reminder to check the thoughts and attitudes of my heart! Thanks Tom!

  3. About 23 years ago as I stood in line at the post office proudly wearing an attitude shirt and face someone looked at me and invited me to church. I had a foul mouth and hard heart but this disciple saw straight through it and helped free me from that pain with introducing me to the risen Christ. Thanks Tom for the reminder. And thank God for the courage and love of Demetrius Thomas. I believe it is for me to do likewise. In Him. Amen

    1. Angela, thanks for sharing your powerful story!!

    2. Angela, thanks for sharing your powerful story!!