I can be a real belly-acher. I could come up with a million reasons on the daily why my life sucks. I get bummed because I can’t afford a nicer car, my kitchen doesn’t have enough counter space, my lawn needs some serious fertilizing, my shoe collection is dwindling and I think I need a new scale — the darn thing has been stuck on the same number for months now.
I have no filter when it comes to sharing many of these negative thoughts with other people. Everyone from my dog to my Pilates instructor has received an earful of my griping. I’m just not the type to praise my situation. Instead, I dwell on how much improving my life needs.
I suppose some might call me a “Debbie Downer.” Though, I don’t always complain. When good news hits, I’m the first to shout it from the roof tops. It’s just, I have a sort of twisted view on what is, “good news.” My perspective on,”good news” and God’s perspective are quite different. I think, if I really were to take a look at it from the Lord’s standpoint, I’d shut my trap pretty quick before bellowing out another grievance.
1Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Maybe I have had a hard time giving thanks because thankfulness is not a virtue society pounds into us. There are far more, “Debbie Downers,” walking the earth than are, “Grateful Glorias.” No surprise, with so many ads on tv and in magazines telling of all the crap we don’t own but should, all the beautiful women in films reminding us of our own figure faults and every other well-to-do person we come across on our daily travels, we’re faced more with what we lack rather than all we have.
If I were to move to Africa, I would be singing a different tune. I’ve been to Africa once before on a family vacation (something I am extremely grateful for) and I saw how difficult life is there. Food is scarce, many children are without schooling, clean drinking water is a luxury. The woman do most of the work in many of the tribes in Africa. According to the website www.charitywater.org,
“the average woman in Africa walks three miles everyday for water.”
I want to punch somebody just for having to get off my cozy couch, drive 2 miles to the post office and pick up the latest Netflix to watch with my hubby by the fire that evening. It doesn’t take a genius to see who has the cushier life. Although, if I really wanted to bring out my “Debbie Downer”, I could complain that those African women have far better muscle definition from carrying all that water.
The thing about being thankful is that it’s not something that easily comes to us. To be a, “Grateful Gloria” takes focus and determination. We have to work for it! That is why God reminds us continually in the Bible to praise him. By giving praise to God, our hearts open to receive more of his grace, which in turn, fills them with more thankfulness and thus, praise! It’s a beautiful cycle!!!!
Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 35:18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you.
Psalm 30:12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
I have learned the hard way that it’s only when I un-silence my heart and allow it to sing to the Lord that I find true gratitude. I can’t find my circumstances totally sufficient when I view them from worldly eyes. Jesus made it crystal clear ( one of the very view occasions 😉 ) when he said to Judas in John 14:27,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives.”
An unsettled heart comes from relying on what the world gives, not on what God gives. By putting things in perspective, the problems that turn us in to “Debbie Downers” become trivial. After all, it seems pretty foolish to moan over not having enough counter space when I at least have a kitchen to cook in.
Praise God for all the blessings he bestows upon you — right down to hot showers and fresh coffee in the morning. Ask that he turn your view away from what the world gives and on to what Jesus gives. Remember that through Jesus comes peace — his peace 🙂
Determine to get your mind right. Be a Grateful Gloria!