There once was a grumpy, old king who had riches beyond belief. Servants filled his castle. He owned the finest jewels, herds of camels and sheep, a million cattle on a million hills, and everything in between. Yet, he complained all the time. His negative attitude drove everyone crazy and made them just as grumpy as he was.
In spite of the negative atmosphere, one servant always displayed a positive attitude. He was the most important servant of all: the king’s cupbearer.
More than just a wine taster guarding against poison in the king’s cup, the cupbearer was a trusted and loyal officer of rank and importance. His position afforded him great influence and a confidential capacity, which gave him frequent access to the king’s royal presence. And the king’s ear.
The cupbearer loved serving his king with a cheerful outlook. Not just a surface, ingratiating attitude but a genuine attitude of appreciation and thankfulness. His positive viewpoint contradicted the distressing circumstances and lack in his life.
Every night, the king went through the same routine. He sipped his cup of wine and said to the cupbearer, “There’s something wrong with this wine. It’s sour. Didn’t you taste this first? Bring me another.”
“Yes, your majesty. The wine tastes sweet and pleasant to me, but I shall bring you another.” The cupbearer would disappear and return – with the same cup.
The king repeated this scenario several times each night. Though the wine tasted sweet and pleasant, the king still complained.
The cupbearer continued to bring the cup of wine after each complaint until the king stopped paying attention and no longer asked for another. Though he endured the king’s gripes, the cupbearer remained optimistic and always found a chance to whisper encouraging words to the king, which he ignored.
One night, during one of these episodes, the cupbearer leaned over and whispered something in the king’s ear. The king turned and stared at the cupbearer for a moment and finally said, “What makes you so congenial?”
“That’s easy, my king. I’m grateful for all I have, especially for my position to serve you. Each day, I have a choice to live with a cheerful or a pessimistic attitude. A positive attitude makes my days taste as sweet and pleasant as your wine.”
From that night on, the king started to change his attitude, which altered the attitude of everyone else around him. The king was a much happier king after that. So were his servants. And his wine tasted better.Our heavenly King is the complete opposite of this king, of course. Our King has appointed each of us as an officer in His household, considering us a trusted servant, that we may “Serve the Lord with gladness; [and] come before His presence with singing.” (Ps. 100:2 NKJV)
He gives us free will to make choices every day, and one of the most important decisions is our choice of attitudes.
When handed a cup of distasteful circumstances, what is our attitude? Are we negative and complaining or positive and thankful? When situations go haywire, when plans get sidetracked by daily events or emergencies, do we remain positive or get grumpy? When we lack the necessities of life, do we complain or still praise the Lord?
Your attitude will make or break your day. It’s your choice. Allow the Spirit to “renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Eph. 4:23 NLT), and the wine of life will be sweet and pleasant.
Remember: you have the King’s ear. Don’t grumble in it!
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