I felt compelled to write about gratitude one day after celebrating Mother’s day. How many of you don’t feel a great sense of appreciation or gratitude when thinking about all that mom has done for you?
Our mothers deserve our utmost appreciation; because they are the heart of the family. With that said we need to realize that mom’s feelings and kindness toward us, is but an inkling of what God feels for, and does for us.
So, let me ask the question, “How grateful or appreciative are you for all the wonderful things God has done for you, including giving you that very special mom?”
Do you consider yourself a grateful person, or do you tend to take things for granted?
Having human nature, we often fall into the trap of taking things for granted, forgetting our blessings, and focusing mostly on our wants and desires.
With a daily barrage of commercials showing us new vehicles, creams that will rid us of wrinkles, the latest gadget to simplify our lives, and the newest high tech toys; we become a group of people chanting “I want”, “I want”, “I want”; when we should be on our knees saying, “thank you, thank you, thank you”.
Now, am I saying there is anything wrong with wanting or getting something better; like a nicer home, nicer car, or nicer things in general? Not at all, if you’re grateful for what you have, and it is not the driving force and focus of your life; go for it!
What I’m talking about is a prevailing attitude in our society that says I will be happy and my life will be good when I get this thing, or when that thing happens.
People stop thinking about what a blessing each and every day is. They always feel if something were different, if they could change one thing or another, then life would be better and then they would have a reason to be happy or grateful.
I say we should all be grateful for each and every day above ground.
Until we learn to be grateful for what we have, we will always be chasing, but never catching up to happinness.
We need to be like the apostle Paul, who said in Philippians 4:10-13 10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me.
If a person truly wants to be happy in life, they must learn to be grateful in all situations just like Paul.
There are also unfortunate side effects to not having a gratitude attitude. These include mild to severe unhappiness, irritability, inability to deal well with others, a lack of friends, difficulty dealing with co-workers and family members, constant disappointments, and at times feelings of hopelessness.
We all get down sometimes and forget how very fortunate and blessed we are; the trick is not letting that become who we are. Real and long term happiness and joy do not come from getting what we want; it comes from a spirit of gratitude and service.
How do you feel when you’ve taken a deep breath outside after a cleansing rain? Does it make you smile? Focus on that!
Do you feel inspired when you see the pinks, oranges, greens, and purples burst across the sky during a sunset? Do you feel a sense of joy and peace at the sight and sound of little children giggling and playing together? Focus on that!
Can you feel a sense of awe when standing in the midst of nature drinking in the sights sounds and smells all around you? Focus on that!
These are the kind of things we need to focus and hold on to, those and many other things in this life are things you can be grateful for. Sure, life is tough and we can’t ignore our problems or needs away; but they need not steal our joy and gratitude.
If you learn to be grateful and happy with what you have, you will find life so much more fulfilling, and you may even find God’s favor blessing you with more.
I’d love to know what you think!
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