By Evelyn Horan
Do you have an attitude of Gratitude? Do you count your blessings when you say your prayers, or are you like me? Most of the time I talk to God about my wishes more than I thank Him for what He’s done for me.
Many times, later on, I’m glad my wishes weren’t all granted–like the time I knew I couldn’t live without a certain party outfit I’d seen in a teen magazine. Then when I saw it in real life in a department store, the color wasn’t right and the material was scratchy!
Another time I wanted some stylish boots. Everybody was wearing them. Well, when I tried them on, they made my feet look really big. Because I’m “only human,” I compare my life with friends, neighbors, and even favorite celebrities. I have to admit, I often feel less fortunate. That’s when I get really, really depressed!
“Everyone is so much better-off than I am!” I complain.
In my self-pity I envy the girls who are prettier and more popular, the ones who makes better grades and are more successful leaders. There is always someone more coordinated on the drill team, or a cheerleader with fantastic spirit. My “woe-is-me” list can go on and on.
I’m sure guys go through the same thing. There is always someone stronger, more athletic, more popular; someone who drives a hotter car, has more spending money, a better job; and someone whose parents are more “understanding” because they let him stay out late, and so on.
Though it’s easy to think of people in better circumstances than we are, that’s not a helpful activity for those of us who want to be like Christ and follow Him. A good way I’ve found to change my self-pity is to inventory the good things God has done for me. Some of His blessings I take for granted are my good health both physical and mental. In contrast we think of all the people who have a life threatening disease, or a serious injury to deal with.
So the first blessing could be good health, both physical and mental. The necessities of life are other things to be grateful for. This includes a warm place to live, adequate clothing to wear, enough nutritious food to eat.; and plenty of clean water to drink. Having these things should make us even more thankful when we think of the millions of people in the world who don’t have even these necessary things.
Any personal possession and benefits beyond life’s necessities are a blessing. For some it’s a room of our own, a cell phone, a place to study, a TV, a computer, DVD player, music lessons, trips to amusement parks, family vacations etc. Other kids can be more or less fortunate, but we can compare our possessions to the homeless in our communities.
After a few minutes of reminding myself of how blessed I am in so many ways, I feel foolish and selfish for pitying myself or getting depressed over some little things I don’t have. I should remember God loves me, and He promised He’d always meet my needs as He sees fit.
But I must remember, also, He didn’t promise to grant me all my wishes, but He did say He’d meet my needs–that I’m not to worry. If He cares for the birds and the flowers, He surely cares for me.
Where is my attitude of gratitude? It’s time I count my blessings and thank God for His goodness! I should praise Him and say, “Thank you, God, for all You’ve done for me, and for all You’re going to do.”
I think I’ll begin right now!