Now, just this past week I read an article that all of our behavior is contagious. Yep, everything we do is apparently contagious. For instance a recent study has shown that a conference speaker who follows a nervous speaker can catch that nervousness. Bad moods and bad attitudes are contagious too. It seems we can pick up a bad attitude just being around someone else who has a bad attitude. I know that has certainly been the case in my own life any number of times. Making mistakes can be contagious. Miss one line in a speech and next thing you know others are on edge and missing lines too.
I was talking with a friend the other day and he said (not to be taken literally mind you), “I hate people”. “Me too!” I replied, not being a help to him at all. By the time the two of us were done griping about “people” we wore each other out with how much we found people aggravating. Neither of us “won,” actually we both “lost”. You know what I mean?
On another occasion I remember one Sunday morning that the mood of the congregation was pretty bad and that I had my work cut out for me that particular day. I could tell everyone felt terrible and I was feeling it too. Fortunately, rather than saying how I felt, I simply asked “So…how are you feeling today?” Before anyone could say a word, Hal raised his hand and blurted out, “I feel great! It’s a beautiful day!” He changed the whole mood of the church in an instant. He projected his upbeat, happy spirit to us all. Our attitudes are contagious, no doubt about it. Numerous studies have shown this to be a fact. Behaviors are contagious too. Count on it.
So what about your attitude? Are you coming to church with a positive and happy attitude in life? Are you bringing your happy face with you? Are you emanating joy and openness and all the good things in life? Or, are you walking in with a grumpy face and a grumpy attitude? What attitudes we bring with us and share become contagious to others the moment we walk in the door. If W.S. Brooks saw a grumpy face on me or someone else he was known to ask, “Someone lick the chocolate off your cookie this morning?” Good question, or as my friend John Wade used to say, “Smile…sunshine is good for your teeth”!