We live in a world that swims in the pools of negativity. Much of this negativity is due to our consumeristic nature and our desire for more. Honestly we as humans are just not very grateful. It is too hot, too cold, too rainy, too dry. We really never seem to be grateful for what we have. You have a garage, you push a button and the door opens, and yet you complain about the poor gas mileage of the car you put in that garage. You have a job, food on your table, cloths covering your body and yet you find yourself complaining just about everything.
I too find myself wanting more, and never satisfied with what I have been given or what I have. It is as though our culture has forgotten how to be grateful for all the gifts we do have. Yet God calls us to be a grateful people and honestly we have a lot to be grateful for. Your life for example is a gift from God, your job, your health, your children and family, laughter, joy, friendships, all we have is a gift from God.
The truth is business hire firms and people to make us ungrateful so, we will want more and spend more. And we have fallen for it. We now live as though we do not have enough, and if only I had (fill in the blank) I will be happy – more productive – better, etc. When scripture and life tell us that happiness comes when we are content and grateful for all we already have. Let me give you three statements that will help you choose gratitude over misery.
I. I know every good thing I have comes from God.
James tells us “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” Think about that, your job comes from God, your family comes from God every good gift comes from God. Now I know you will say “No I earned my job with my abilities and skills.” Really? Who gave you those abilities and skills? Who gave you the mind to learn and comprehend? You see it is really true that all we have comes from above.
II. I will not let what I want rob me of the joy of what I already have.
For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through [Christ] who gives me strength.
If you are always looking towards what you want you will never have time to enjoy what God has already given you. Take a moment and pretend you have just lost your child, parent, job, car or anything you value. Allow that deep sense of loss to fill your heart. Now look you still have it. Why do we wait until we lose something we care for, take pleasure in before we fully see how wonderful it is? Because we are always looking for more.
You will find yourself a much happier person if you will simply stop consuming and rest in the pleasure of what you already have.
III. I will turn every blessing I have into praise.
Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. 3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. 5 He fills my life with good things.
Praise is an expression of gratitude, it is an outward expression of thankfulness for all we have and all we have been freely given. When our life over flows with praise depression, anxiety, anger and fear melt away.
Praise is not only for God but praise has the ability to lift our own spirits. As we thank God for all we have we are also reminding ourselves of all we should be thankful for.
Life is more than consuming! Life should be spent enjoying all the wonderful gifts God has given us. Imagine how different your day would be if you stopped complaining about what you do not have and simply enjoyed all you do have.