Monday, December 31, 2007

Grumpiness or Gratitude?

Better Days Goo Goo Dolls
And you ask me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
Cuz I don't need boxes wrapped in strings
And desire and love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
So take these words
And sing out loud
Cuz everyone is forgiven now
Cuz tonight's the night the world begins again
And it's someplace simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And that’s faith and trust and peace while we're alive
And the one poor child that saved this world
And there's 10 million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them
So take these words
And sing out loud
Cuz everyone is forgiven now
Cuz tonight's the night the world begins again
I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
So take these words
And sing out loud
Cuz everyone is forgiven now
Cuz tonight's the night the world begins again
Cuz tonight's the night the world begins again

Many of us are looking for better days. Are we grumpy or grateful on the journey?

"Secret of life: giving thanks in everything."

Philippians 4
Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!...

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

This past week I've dealt with broken glasses and the family has dealt with a very inconvenient sickness. I wanted to be grumpy instead of grateful!

"Negativity bias: incoming emotions and thoughts are more likely to be unpleasant rather than pleasant. This means that for some of us being a grouch comes naturally." Dr. Robert Emmons

Gratitude is the realization that we have everything we need, at the moment.

Philippians 4:6
“Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.

"I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are better left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and it makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was as if some beautiful bird had flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free." Red in Shawshank Redemption

Being known by God is being loved by God. Henri Nouwen

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. William Arthur Ward

Philippians 1:6
Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God's Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

Psalm 100:4
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

Colossians 3:15
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”

1 Timothy 4:4
“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude.”

Hebrews 12:28
“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe.”

Colossians 4:2
“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.”

A turtle on a fence post had some help. Gratitude.

"Everyone who walks through this door makes me happy: some when they enter the room and others when they leave."

Three questions:
“What have I received from God or others?”
“What have I given to God or others?”
“What troubles and difficulty have I caused?”

Have you ever thanked God for the troublemakers in your life? Without them, we would never mature spiritually! They thrust us out of ourselves, causing us to rely more completely upon the help of God.

Gratitude is a form of spiritual warfare, especially when it comes to healing human relationships. There are times when, for a variety of reasons, people are not open to us and they shun our initiatives for peace or reconciliation. However, if we were more genuinely appreciative of them, in time they might relax their guard and open up.

There is something like radar inside the human heart that senses the displeasure of others. Displeasure and ingratitude are like a repellant to human relationships. People think, 'If I can't measure up --- if you can't see anything good in me --- I'll go where people will accept me as I am.' Gratitude brings our loved ones closer to us rather than driving them away.

Some of us have been ungrateful, gossiping and/or grumbling. Let’s fast from ingratitude. Whenever you are tempted to complain, grumble or be ungrateful about something or someone, focus instead on things for which you are thankful. Make a list of seven people in your world that you know fairly well and write down seven things in each of their lives for which you are appreciative. Over the next two or three weeks, tell them how much you appreciate this or that quality you've observed in them.

Consider a letter of thanks to someone, even to God.

2 Timothy 3:1-5
There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.

Gratitude isn't dependant on circumstances.

Habakkuk 3:17-19
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.

"Feeling as if we should feel gratitude after being sermonized might produce resentment, not gratitude." Robert Emmons

Choose gratitude. Forsake grumpiness. Open your heart to the love of the good Father.


Post a Comment

<< Home