I'm not sure where this quote originated, but isn't it the truth!
"Gratitude is a choice fueled by perspective." -Anonymous
We can be such ingrates! It's so easy to harbor a spirit of ungratefulness. It comes natural to be ungrateful, and it's seemingly unnatural to be grateful. But it all pivots on our perspective.
This time of year our perspective becomes a little clearer, especially this week of Thanksgiving. We're more thankful because that's what this week is all about. We become a little more grateful and focus more on our blessings and less on the "I wants" of life. But just let Black Friday roll around and we see the ads for all those things we want but can't afford. Let Christmas Day come knocking on our social media wall and we see all those things our friends got for Christmas that we didn't. Or what they could afford to buy their children that we couldn't. Our perspective slips. We're not so thankful anymore, and gratitude takes a back seat to a perspective fueled by something other than thankfulness.
Every one of us can look to someone who has life just a little bit better than us. Ok, maybe a lot better than us. And so often that's where we want to focus. But that kind of focus is not the perspective we should own.
Every one of us can look to someone who has life just a little bit worse than us. Many of us know someone who has life way worse than us. However, this is not typically our focus or perspective.
Having the wrong perspective can send me spiraling into my own little pity party. Poor pitiful me. Look what I don't have. Look what they have. This is wrong thinking, and dangerous! I'm likely to fall into this kind of thinking when I see someone with a cute new outfit. You know, that outfit appropriately color coordinated for the season with shoes and bling to match. Or, I'm watching the newest season of whatever show HGTV is airing now. Or worse yet, someone drives into the church parking lot with a brand new car.
Where's my perspective? Is it on what I have? Or is it on what someone else has? Is it on what I should be grateful for? Or is it on what I want more of? Is it on the temporal? Or is it on the eternal?
When I stop looking around, and start looking within. When I see what a wretched soul I am. When I become thankful that Jesus came seeking this needy soul, my perspective immediately changes! My focus is no longer on the temporal. Now it's fixed on the eternal. It's no longer on what I don't have. Now it's on what I have and cannot lose! How can I not be grateful for this?
Focus on what you have and cannot lose because Jesus Christ has sought your needy soul. By doing so you will cultivate a garden of gratitude in your own life as you plant seeds of thanksgiving.
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