Have an Attitude of Gratitude:
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:18).
If I was to ask you to write out a 100-item GRIPE LIST, with your personal pet peeves (things that really bug you), do you think you could do it? Most people wouldn’t have a problem with this. Here are a couple of my top pet peeves – things that really bug me.
- Drivers who shouldn’t be on the roads because they don’t know how to drive properly.
- Waiting in long lines in stores, at the bank, in traffic – or anywhere for that matter…
- Pushy telemarketers who call you and waste your time and can’t take no for an answer.
- When I’m working on a project on the computer and it freezes up on me before I save and I lose all the information that I spent so much time working on.
Okay, now that you’ve had a few minutes to thing about your personal gripe list (how many did you come up with?), I want you to ask you another question. If I was to ask you to write out a 100-item BLESSING LIST (things that you’re thankful for), could you do it? This one’s a little harder. Most people focus on the things they don’t like, or they don’t have, or they can’t change, instead of thinking about and counting their blessings. Take a minute before you read my top five and see if you can list a few things in your life that you’re thankful for.
- My personal relationship with Jesus Christ as my Lord, my Saviour, my Everything.
- My wonderful family – my wife Liza, my children Caleb, Tori and Austin, and Hannah.
- My extended family – my mom and sisters and their families – and all my great friends.
- My ministry as a pastor, being fulfilled doing something I absolutely enjoy.
- Living in a free and prosperous country like Canada where I have a healthy family, a roof over my head, food on my table, clothes on my back, and a warm bed to sleep in.
The Bible says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.” (James 1:17). It also says, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:1). God wants us to have an attitude of gratitude, to be thankful for the blessings that He has given to us. I could very easily focus on all my pet peeves, and the things that really bug me, or I can make a choice to be thankful for the many blessings the Lord has given me. Somehow, in light of a loving Saviour, a wonderful family, and a joyous life-calling in the ministry of my Lord, the bad drivers and pushy telemarketers don’t seem so annoying anymore.
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.” (Phil. 4:11-13).
Pastor Chris Jordan