#2: Ungrateful Thoughts
Why does everyone else seem better off than me?
Theodore Roosevelt said it well: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Comparison takes everything good in our life and makes it seems small, inadequate, dissatisfying, and disappointing. It tempts us to sin by robbing us of the joy we should have from the abundance that God has given. Christians are not called to wallow in self-pity, envy, and ungratefulness when we’re disappointed, but to rejoice, pray, and give thanks in everything:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
And sometimes it feels impossible.
When deep fears and disappointments are dominating our thoughts, when our dreams crumble before our very eyes, and when hope seems out of reach: gratitude feels impossible.
But the bounty of God’s love for us is always greater than the poverty of our present circumstances.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
What an awe-inspiring, mind-blowing gift! Often I’m guilty of being too casual in my response to the Gospel. As someone who grew up in the Church, it’s all too easy for me to take for granted that the perfect, sinless Son of God took our punishment upon himself and died in my place.
Amazingly, gratitude in small things seems to be the key to a life filled with gratitude in spite of everything.
Gratitude for little blessings (the sweet smell of rain, the Chickadee perched on my fence, the warmth of a cup of coffee early in the morning) reminds me of the small ways that God reveals His love for me throughout every day. These small reminders prepare me to be overwhelmed by the huge, glorious mercy of Christ’s death and resurrection.
How do you redirect your thoughts to thankfulness when you’re tempted to be ungrateful?