Check Your Attitude

The Captain’s Corner

“First, check your attitude indicator,” our flight instructors would admonish us. As students who were learning to fly, we were being trained to “fly blind,” preparing for the times when we would be in the midst of clouds, unable to see the true horizon. The attitude indicator, central in the midst of the myriad of dials on the cockpit’s instrument panel, “is an instrument used in an aircraft to inform the pilot of the orientation of the aircraft relative to Earth’s horizon” (Wikipedia). By moving the controls correctly and checking the visual of the airplane on the screen against the instrument’s artificial horizon, the pilot could obtain the desired flight path. So if our attitude was right—and this was critical—all other elements of flying (such as altitude, air speed, climb and descent, and course direction) would be correct.

Just as in instrument flying, our attitude in life (our outlook, viewpoint, or behavior) can be a benefit or a “blister!” We’ve all encountered someone who had “an attitude”—as a difficult or harsh outlook is often described. We’ve also been helped by and have appreciated people who have had a great attitude. Scripture repeatedly describes our heart attitude as being central to our everyday life; therefore, it is an important element of who we are. Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV) states: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Just as the attitude indicator in the plane requires constant checking to keep the plane on course, our heart’s attitude needs frequent attention and correction. We are admonished in Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV): “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” The Bible provides many verses that we can pray back to the Lord when seeking His guidance for our heart attitudes. For example:

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10, KJV).

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14, NKJV).

Remember: A merry heart does good like a medicine (Proverbs 17:22); a contented heart is of great value (1 Timothy 6:6); and a pure heart is priceless (2 Timothy 2:22). So I have only one question for you: How’s your attitude?


Joe Henderson, Brenda’s husband, is a retired international airline captain and now blogs in “The Captain’s Corner” on a regular basis.

Be sure to join us back here on Thursday for another “Come on Over” Recipe: “Come on Over Salad.”

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