by Dr. Ken Matto
Tabitha (Dorcas) - Acts 9:36
(Acts 9:36 KJV) Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
Her name is translated "Gazelle," from the Aramaic language. An attitude is a state of mind toward a particular idea or thing. From verse 36 we read "this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did." We see she was "full" which means you cannot put anymore inside. Did you ever fill your car up with gas and when the tank is full, the excess shoots out and rolls down your car? Of course, all over the nice paint job.
Let us ask on a serious level of introspection, "What attitudes do I express in life?" How do others see me? There are times when we will become angry or maybe take on a bad attitude and this happens, especially when we are still in the flesh. The question at hand is how is my attitude on an overall basis?
The following is what the Christian life should exhibit:
Vs 36..."this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did."
1) "She did" means a continual action. It is in the imperfect tense which indicates a progressive or continuous past action. It can be understood as "she was doing." A Christian should always be ready to do the good work for which God has prepared us.
(Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
2) "Good works" = the word "good" carries with it the meaning of complete, upright, wholesome, benevolent. A Christian should do nothing harmful or distasteful which may besmirch the name of the Lord.
(Rom 2:24 KJV) For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
3) "Almsdeeds" = "kindness or merciful" A Christian should be merciful to others, like God who was and is merciful to us. Many times we do not know what is going on behind the scenes in another person's life which may result in a misjudgment of motive or even wrong advice.
4) My attitude should not differ between people who can do something for me and those who cannot. (Notice the widows in verse 39) How much do you think a widow is able to do? Tabitha made items of clothing for widows who were probably only one step above a leper in the social status of ancient times. Tabitha "asked not what the widows could do for her but what she could do for the widows." When I can treat the rich and poor equally, I have made a great spiritual advance in my spiritual walk.
5) My attitude should be from Christ's point of view on anything I do. The Lord Jesus Christ was a giver and the only thing He took out of this world is the true believer.
Keys to sustaining a Christian attitude:
1) Yield yourself totally to the Holy Spirit. This does not mean speaking in tongues, it means an increased holiness in words, works, and thoughts. In other words, your outward life must reflect your inward life.
2) Pray for a strong defense against Satan's attacks. Satan will definitely attack you in a vulnerable area and at a vulnerable time.
3) Study and devour the Scriptures.
4) Become busy in the Lord's work. When we see the Lord at work in certain situations, it can strengthen our relationship with Him and others. Getting involved with the Lord's work does not mean you have to go to the missionary field. You may write a check to support missions and then read about the work your missionary is doing. It will instill 2 things: 1) A desire to go to the field, and 2) an increase in missionary support.
5) Fellowship with other possessing believers. Professing believers may be just that, all talk. Catholics call themselves Christians and they constitute the highest prison population. Fellowship with those you know are truly saved.