I’m having a problem with my attitude. I realize I’m not grateful enough. Sure, I tell people thank you and I appreciate it when someone tries to do something nice for me or does their best to help me or make my life easier. In a world where so many folks wouldn’t even bother to say anything at all, where some folks would even feel entitled to such treatment, I’m doing pretty good, right? No, I’m not. I’m actually doing horribly. Remember, God never compares us to each other. He compares us to His standard. So why do I say I’m doing horribly? Here’s the standard (prepare to cringe):
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17, ESV
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. – Ephesians 5:4, ESV
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, – 1 Timothy 2:1, ESV
You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. – 2 Corinthians 9:11, ESV
Whatever I do – in other words, in everything I do – I should be giving thanks to God. Instead of filthiness or crudeness my words should be filled with thanksgiving. I am to offer thanksgivings for all people. I am being enriched so that I may be generous in every way which will produce in me thanksgiving to God. When you see words like all and every it’s very clear that part-time gratitude isn’t enough. Full-time gratitude is what God expects.
Why shouldn’t He? His Son died on the Cross for a punishment we couldn’t pay. He gives us the Holy Spirit to be our guide and our comforter. He provides for the good of those whom He has called, even turning the bad and the evil into good. He listens to our prayers. He answers them, too. When we ask according to His Son, He delivers. He takes a personal interest in being our personal trainer, but on a whole lot deeper level than somebody at your local gym. He meets our every need. He is our shield and our salvation. He is, quite simply, our Everything. He has every reason to expect full-time gratitude.
That’s why I need to work on my gratitude. I need to look at every situation, ever interaction, and ever person as being part of my life for a reason. God is working on me. He is sanctifying me. He is making me more like His Son. Everything that happens in my life and everybody I interact with is part of that process. Even if someone wrongs me, I can find gratitude in the pain. Even if an unspeakable tragedy happens to me or to someone I love, I can be grateful that there is a Savior who will hold me close. I can find a reason to be grateful in everything. It comes down to a decision, a choice to do so. My decision. Your decision. Choose to be grateful full-time. I would hazard a guess that the more grateful we are, the more we’ll see things and people to be grateful for. I’m looking forward to that. And I’ll be grateful for it.