I’ve worked fulltime ever since I was 16, including six eight-hour night shifts a week while going to college in the daytime.

What I quickly discovered in those workplaces is that my attitude could be shaped by the people I spent time with. Naturally, in any job you’re pretty much obliged to rub shoulders with people whose ways of looking at life are different than yours. But it’s vital to preserve your attitude from sabotage by others.

I just started reading through the Psalms, and I was struck by how much practical sense Psalm 1 makes about this problem:

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
(Psalm 1:1, 2 NKJV)

Following this advice is chillingly important. Even though my Christian parents raised me not to swear or blaspheme, the profanities of my co-workers started to fasten themselves to my mind, and even though I don’t remember ever swearing aloud, those words would sometimes tremble on the tip of my tongue. Even though I didn’t swear, my young mind was given a daily tutorial on how to do it. And it was hard to shake. And so are other “caught” attitudes, such as cynicism and criticism.

But if my “delight is in the law of the Lord,” and if I meditate on it daily, the Holy Spirit will adjust my attitude.