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Gratitude…

08 Oct

Gratitude

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I think members of society in general are lacking gratitude and especially members of this society…in North America.

Why is it that those who live with such advantage, are some of the least grateful?

Gratitude: from dictionary.com: the quality or feeling of being grateful, thankful

Grateful: from dictionary.com: warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received;

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

North Americans have a great deal to be grateful for. Not everyone is ungrateful of course but it seems as though they either don’t knowhowto express it or they don’t know that theyshould.

Do we raise our kids this way? When an uncle or family friend sends a gift, do we make sure that our children know enough to say thank you, do we dial the number and put our kid on the phone to say thank you to Great-Uncle So&So? When I was being raised my sisters and I were taught that we should thank people for gifts, one way or another, and whether or we liked the gift or not. Is this lack of appreciation because parents are dropping the ball? I don’t know about other people, but I have tried to teach my kids the concept of gratitude. They are not perfect, but they always say, ‘thank you for supper’ or ‘thanks for the ride’ or whatever.

Most importantly, are we teaching our children to give thanks to God? Look around, see what the Lord has made. He has blessed us exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever ask or think. Yes, day-to-day we all have struggles, we have tragedies and disappointments. It is true that some days we have really had it…no more, do not talk to me, don’t touch me, don’t ask me for anything…sound familiar? Whether you are a new babe in Christ or a seasoned mature child of God, you will have those days. We are not exempt from troubles.

2 Cor. 4:14-18

“because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people maycause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. Forwhat is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

I think another issue is a feeling of entitlement.People seem to feelentitledhave whatever they want, and by feeling entitled, they don’t see the need for gratitude.

What does it mean? Definition: belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges

Articles of the Faith: The unfortunate age of entitlement in America – by Anthony B Robinson

Some will remember the hot book of the 1970’s “I’m OK – You’re OK” by Thomas Harris. Harris’ tome was part of the self-esteem movement of the the time. Thirty years later, self-esteem seems to have morphed into entitlement. Perhaps the book for this decade will be, “I’m Entitled and So Are You! (Though Perhaps Not Quite So Much as Me).” Such a book, popular as it might prove, would lack therapeutic value. A more helpful book might bear the title, “I’m Not Entitled and Neither Are You — So Get Over It!”

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/308772_faith24.html

I think that kind of makes my point, enough said. It is a good article, read it at the site, listed above.

James 4:6

” But he give us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

I have tried to be consistent in keeping a gratitude journal over the years, have not always been faithful to it but I found that it was a good tool to train your brain into that way of thinking.I even wrote in my gratitude journal on the day that my mom suddenly passed away. I could barely see the page or the pen strokes because my eyes were so swollen from crying, but I filled in a few things that I was grateful for. I was grateful for the comfort of my other family members, the tender sweet hugs of my chubby armed daughter. I was grateful that the day before, my last day with my mom, we had a good visit and as I left her, our last words to each other were ‘I love you, see you tomorrow.’ Even on what was the worst day of my life, I was able to think of something/things that I was grateful for. I am not wealthy, I have plenty of bills, nothing comes easy for my family,but what I have, I am thankful for.No matter how crappy my day has been, if I can think of even a few things to be grateful for it really makes me feel better! It is worth at try.

“We count our miseries carefully, and accept our blessings without much thought

— Chinese Proverb

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Posted by on October 8, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

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