Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Always Give Thanks
If we take the Psalms as a model for prayer, then we should certainly feel free, even obligated, to share with the Lord our frustrations and disappointments. Genuine prayer is not putting a happy face on our true feelings. If you're grieving the loss of a loved one, or feeling afraid because you're facing a serious illness, you should surely share these feelings with God in prayer. Being thankful in all circumstances does not mean pretending or denying.Ingratitude may be the ultimate expression of narcissism. Think about it for a minute. Anyone who is reading this has access to a computer - that alone qualifies as abundance and worthy of gratitude. If I am ungrateful in the face of of such abundance then it can only be becasue I do not have what I want, for I certainly have what I need.
But it does mean that we must look beyond our particular circumstances. Gratitude comes when we look at the bigger picture, when we remember the multitude of ways in which we are blessed, even if we're also feeling sadness or fear or whatever else seems inconsistent with being thankful.
But there is more involved than simple desire. I know when I see business reversals and begin to worry about not having "everything" or start to worry about tomorrow, It's not the stuff that is the real problem, it's that I feel I have failed or my customers don't like me anymore. Of course none of that is true, sometimes things just happen in business. But reminding myself of that fact almost never helps.
But gratitude does help - it forces me to stop thinking about me. God has given so much. Take inventory and be grateful. Everything else will fall into perspective.