I woke up this morning with a keen awareness of how blessed I really am. Oh, I recognize it regularly, but I was overwhelmed by it today. A spirit of thanksgiving came over me. I began to name the blessings that God has placed into my life. On that list were several things that I take for granted. I believe that many of us have developed an attitude of complaining rather than an attitude of thanksgiving and we don't even realize it.
Listen to what Paul said in Philippians 2:14-15:
Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves], (15) That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world,
We don't realize that when we complain, we are saying that God isn't caring for us like He should. We rob Him of the praise and Thanksgiving that He so deserves.
- We complain about the price of groceries instead of offering Him thanks that we can afford to buy food.
- We complain about our spiritual struggles instead of offering Him thanks that Jesus died on the cross for my salvation.
- We complain about the price of gasoline instead of offering Him thanks that we have a vehicle.
- We complain about how messy our families are instead of offering Him thanks that we have a family.
- We complain about how much our kids fight instead of offering Him thanks for our children.
- We complain about our country instead of offering Him thanks that we live in the greatest nation in the world.
- We complain about our spouse instead of offering Him thanks that we are married.
- We complain that we don't feel very well instead of offering Him thanks that we are alive.
- We complain that we don't make enough money instead of offering Him thanks that we have more wealth that a large percentage of the world
- We complain about the traffic jam on the interstate instead of offering Him thanks that we are not causing the jam due to car problems or an accident.
- We complain about the music of our church instead of offering Him thanks that we have the right and freedom to worship God in our church
- We complain about the problems that have to be fixed in our house instead of offering Him thanks for our house.
- We complain about how busy we are today instead of offering Him thanks for this day
I could go on and on. I (we) can very easily become a complainer. That is why my theme verse is Psalm 118:24, "This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." I have to remind myself often that I choose to be full of thanksgiving and not complaining… TODAY. I have to take one day at a time. I often teach on how we need to enjoy each season of our lives. Well, I actually believe that we need to enjoy each minute of each day, or each season of our lives. How do we do that? Develop an attitude of gratitude.
Listen to what Paul says in Philippians 4:11-12:
Philippians 4:11-12 Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. (12) I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.
He says, "I have learned to be content in every circumstance." Being content is something you have to learn. You learn it through your daily choices. You will never be content as long as you make the choice of complaining! However, when you strive to give thanks daily, you will slowly but surely become content, regardless what comes along in your life.
I love the CONTENTS of my life (Salvation, family, home, vehicles, etc), but I will never be CONTENT in my life until I daily choose to give God thanks before I bring my needs or complaints before Him. It is the absolute least that I can do for a God who has blessed me abundantly.
So my prayer today is: "Lord, help me to enjoy the CONTENTS of my life by learning to be CONTENT in my life. I become content by becoming a daily, habitual thanks giver!"