What is it about Mondays that—simply by it’s name—seems to give people a negative vibe? Granted, it is the start of another work-week rather than the end of one, and Monday morning we must grapple with all that must be done in the upcoming week. For those who describe the week with words like “busy” or “challenging”, this can be a daunting task. Especially if you try to manage the idea of returning to work, school, or wherever your busyness takes place without having adequate quantities of coffee first. Let’s just say that a good cup of java can at least be a nice treat to accompany trying to focus on returning to the rat race.
With this in mind, sometimes it’s hard to remain positive on Monday! I have noticed that even when I give people a cheery “happy Monday” or “good morning” when I arrive at work, the response from many is often a grunt, grumble or some other indistinguishable sound that rises from the belly and oozes from the mouth. More often than not, I seem to get one of these types of response rather than the sought after, encouraging and bright “hello.” And God forbid that people should smile on Mondays. This all reminds me of a song that I liked in my youth: The Boomtown Rat’s “I don’t like Mondays.”
Fridays is a different experience altogether. Fridays you pass people by who couldn’t hide that cheshire cat grin even if Ebeneezer Scrooge himself had placed a nice sum of money on the line for those who could “bah humbug-it” all day. They seem to chirp like bird. Even at 6am. In fact, you’ll say, “how you doin’?” to someone in passing on Friday, and instead of the low growl and lip snarl they gave you on Monday, they beam like the North Star and say, “Great! It’s Friday!”
You’ve heard the expression, “what a difference a day makes….” Wow, Mondays and Fridays are unbelievably different. In fact, the psychology behind these days is so fascinating I am contemplating in this moment authoring a book on the subject. Working title: “Mondays are from Mars; Fridays are from Venus.”
What is it exactly that lurks just under the surface of our psyche that in turn makes Mondays so unbearable. Just this morning, I was thinking about the typical Monday morning grrrr-crowd. (Whatever brought that to mind?) Specifically, I pondered the reality, cause and effect of the whole “Monday Morning” thing; is it simply about attitude and perspective?
I am often tempted to be a little down on Mondays as well. Weekends are so nice, and getting back to the grind is never really relished, at least not by me. (I realize that you enjoy it, but bear with me for a moment) Lately, I have chosen to have an extreme attitude makeover concerning Mondays.
Because really, it’s not about the day. It’s more about me. It’s about my perspective, my level of peace, and my attitude. I am thinking in this moment about the very well known quote from Charles Swindoll on attitude:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.”
So, Mondays happen. It’s more about my attitude than the fault of the calendar. Blaming a day for causing my mood or disposition seems extremely childish and irresponsible, doesn’t it? After all, this attitude that I carry is determined by what’s going on inside of me, regardless of the day.
I’m taking action!
I resolve to approach Mondays as a follower of Christ. One who is excited about another day of life! One who is celebrating the day that God has made and rejoicing— finding extreme joy in it! I have determined that it is another day of His Grace, and filled with opportunities that are unbelievably good. This mindset is the one that I will miss if I am not in communion with him, and if I am more concerned about complaining that it’s Monday rather than celebrating a new week and new mercies showered down on me. Newsflash: God made Mondays.
I have resolved that I will not give power over my attitude and outlook to any other save Christ alone. Definitely not to my own flesh.
I think I have done this more often than I care to admit. There are moments when life happens, and suddenly, up jumps my mouth and spews out some piece of negativity or deep frustration that, in an instant becomes manifest before my very own disbelieving eyes.
Where did that come from? Forgive me, Lord! Then help me to grow.
I find myself trying to be positive; trying to be led by the Spirit and allow Him reign over my life, my attitude and my tongue.
So again, where did that come from?
Jesus said “What you say flows from what is in your heart” (Luke 6:45 NLT). Those outward expressions, even those Monday morning blah-looks-and-comments, come from inside us. It’s what’s packed down in our hearts. The Message Bible puts it a little more colloquially: “Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.”
The reality is whatever I am— and thus whatever I am feeling and believing—on the inside will work its way to the outward realm, visible to all who are around me.
Deep seated anger will eventually cross the palate of the mouth and become my actions as well.
Hidden fears will not remain hidden, as they will find expression in who we are, what we say, and what we do.
That resentment we think we are dealing with by simply packing it down into dark crevices of the heart; it will eventually do that “volcano” thing.
You know how sometimes we get in that heated argument with someone—perhaps that significant other—and somehow, somewhere, something that was an event, action or feeling from two years before comes bounding out of our mouths moving faster than a cheetah chasing a rabbit? This kicks off a volcanic eruption from both parties, each spitting out a laundry lists of issues from the past, recent or otherwise. When something isn’t an issue, it doesn’t come up. When an issue is left cooking in the deep boilers of our heart, it’s going to hit the right temperature at some point, and start its boiling over.
It’s the same thing as the Monday morning blahs, except it might be a lot more costly in the immediate. These beginning-of-the-week blues might not be so serious, but they are still an issue of attitude and focus. It’s all coming from deep down within us.
Bottom line: unresolved issues find a resting place in our being, words and actions. As a good friend of mine once said, “What’s in the well comes up in the bucket.”
Not only do I want my attitude to be Holy Spirit filtered and righteous before God, I want the actions (or fruit) that these attitudes produce to roll out of me, like a river of living water from the bowels of my being. I want to be like Christ. Can you, in your wildest dreams, imagine Christ “snapping” on someone because it’s Monday? Or holding issues in his heart that finally make him “go off” on the twelve, Mary, Martha and the whole crowd that is gathered around? Me neither.
So, why do we—Christ followers—-not follow His lead here?
This weekend I was thinking of the passage in 2 Corinthians 10 dealing with Spiritual Warfare. It encourages us to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Easy to read, a little harder to establish in our lives. This means that I am responsible for the gateway of my mind and attitude. If “Your true being brims over into true words and deeds” as Jesus taught, and my true being is greatly affected by what I allow into my being, then it makes sense to watch what I diet on, in the mental and spiritual realms, because it affects my total being.
So, instead of spending time worrying about why these things keep coming up, we should use that energy for guarding our mind, soul and spirit. We should be proactive—seeking to live what the Word of God teaches on this subject, rather than being reactive—spending time repeating the same cycle: take garbage in, brew it up, spew it out.
What’s in the well comes up in the bucket!
In Proverbs 18:21, we read this: ”The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences (NLT).”
I like the way the Message Bible reads this one as well. Raw and unsupressed: “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”
I choose what I take into gateway of my mind. I need to make sure that I am taking every thought captive to his obedience (2 Cor. 10:5)
I choose to have my mind renewed by His Word and to be transformed as a result (Rom 12:1-2).
I choose not to meditate on and cook garbage in the fire of my bosom, but to resolve issues that can trip me up (Heb 12:15).
I choose to place my mind above, where Christ is seated…and my heart as well (Col 3).
I choose to live by the Spirit and not by the flesh (Gal 5, Col 3)
I choose for what’s in my well to be the pure, unadulterated water of God, bringing life to those around me rather than bringing disease and death (Prov 18:21, Lu 6:45).
What I am choosing to live is what Paul said so well in Romans 14:17:
“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”
Kingdom living is the most awesome living! A life of goodness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit!
Even on Mondays!