Two people in the exact same circumstances, one is happy and the other is miserable. Why?
The character quality that influences our happiness the most, is gratefulness. Gratefulness is a seed that flowers into contentment and joy.
When we have it we spend less money. We smile and laugh more. We can rejoice in other people’s blessings.
There’s an herbicide that will kill it all. It has the generic label Complaining but can be found under the brand names of Comparison and Envy.
Sometimes reading someone else’s grateful list brings up some jealousy. This time of year, I wonder if I should share my grateful list or if it is better to tell it to God. When I list off my list of things I’m thankful for, I naturally leave out the things that we are struggling with. It would defeat the purpose to complain and be thankful at the same time. That can leave an impression that my life is perfect and make someone else wonder why theirs isn’t.
In this human experience we will all have trouble. If it’s not happening now, it’s coming. Our gratefulness is interwoven with tragedy. The contrast is beautiful.
My goal is to become thankful no matter my circumstances. It’s easy for me to be thankful when I look at those who are less fortunate. If comparison is the thief of joy, then I want my gratitude to be independent from comparison . There will always be someone better off or worse off than I am. My joy and my gratitude has to be unaffected by circumstance.
There is one constant to be grateful for, Jesus. He remains unchanged no matter my circumstance. He lived and died and lived again so that whatever happens in this life is a blip in the scheme of eternity spent with Him. If your Christmas tree is already up and you’re singing Christmas carols while you work, it doesn’t bother me. It’s just another reminder of the reason for our gratitude this Thanksgiving day.
Happy Thanksgiving from Our Family to Yours
I’ve sent up special prayers for those of you with family members who have already been welcomed into the arms of our Savior. It seems like we miss them more on days like today.