by Claude Thomas

I Thessalonians 5:18

Paul's closing encouragement to the Thessalonian Christians included thankfulness.

Introduction: Prior to World War II, Victor Frankl was one of Vienna's most distinguished psychologists. He had a wife, family, prestige, success. The Nazi nightmare changed it all. He spent several years in concentration camps performing slave labor and inhuman tasks. Frank survived the Nazi horrors and has recounted inspiring stories of human kindness among the prisoners. He made a wonderful discovery -- attitude is the last of human freedoms.

"Attitude more than aptitude determines our altitude." There are basically two
attitudes from which we can choose ...

I. Attitudes - Constructive or Destructive

Illustration: At nine, he attacked his brother with a butcher knife. By ten, he had moved thirteen times with his mother. At thirteen, a psychiatrist found he had "a potential for explosive, aggressive acting out." At sixteen, he wrote for membership to the Socialist Party of America, but joined the Marines weeks later. While he was twenty, he defected to the Soviet KGB.

He returned to American with a Russian wife and infant. He was bitter, confused, and angry. His twisted soul turned him to a horrible deed on a sunny November 22, 1963. On that day, Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President Kennedy. The next Sunday, his sordid life of destructive behavior came to an end when he was killed by Jack Ruby.

Maybe circumstances had not been good for Oswald. His dad died just months before he was born, and he lived in an orphanage for a while. Circumstances could have been better, yet he chose to allow negative emotions to fuel destructive attitudes.

Bitterness, anger, jealousy, envy, ego out of control -- all fuel a destructive attitude. They dig a deep dungeon and chain you to its walls. The people inside are those who feel they are victims -- of society, the system, misunderstanding, a ...

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