Complaints vs. Gratitude

We just don’t or can’t realize how much of who we think we are, what and how we think and feel comes between us and God. It is not just the big sins like “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed which is idolatry;”[1] but also the subtler things, “anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.”[2] And we have to add all the complaints we make about our lives not going the way we wanted them to go.

 

These can be so minor that we hardly notice that we’re complaining about the traffic which is pretty much as expected at any hour of the day. Or that we’re complaining about the game not going the way we had anticipated. Or that our spouse is not doing what we wanted. The list is endless, but basically we are complaining that God does not have our agenda in mind in the little things and the big things that we experience. Doesn’t He know what we want? Doesn’t He care?

 

This question is not about God at all, but about how we perceive what happens to us in life. Are we grateful for the good and the challenging that happens to us. Do we look back on our lives and ask what we learned from the good things and from the hard struggles we went through? Has it occurred to you that we learn more from the difficulties in our lives than from the easy things that agree with what we wanted?

 

Take the time to list the great things in your life and then the difficulties. And think through what you have learned from each. Doing this exercise will teach you a lot about who you are today and what type of experience you learned the most from. Do you experience any gratitude to God when the lessons learned have enhanced your life; feel the gratitude for learning that lesson even if it was a tough one. For gratitude is the true test of our devotion to God. What is the measure of your gratitude to Him?

 

And then let that lens of gratitude help you deal with what is happening in your life right now, difficult or easy, for the Lord is shaping your life to teach you the things you need to learn in your life devoted to Him.

 

I surrendered my life to Christ in the early 1980’s. So it’s been a long learning curve for me over those 35+ years. So many things have been healed in me, but I can see now all the little objections I cling to, even now. And so I set my intention to move from complaint to gratitude every time. And I ask God to heal this tendency in me.

 

After He and I deal with these complaints, I am sure that there will be yet another issue to tackle with the Lord’s help—all the way until the day I die. That’s how I see the future, but I do appreciate all that He has done so far to heal and to redirect my life.  Amen!!!!!!!!!

[1] Colossians 3:5

[2] Ibid verse 8

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