Does Thankfulness Come Easy to You?
What if I told you that I am convinced that I am going to tell you one thing today that you could do this week/month/year that will change your entire life – and maybe the entire trajectory of your life? I could probably just tell it to you, but I can’t do that… because it’s so simple, I think it might take a little convincing to sink in!
So to start off, let me ask you a question that relates to it: Does it come easy for you to be thankful? I mean, if you’re being really honest with yourself, would you say that your attitude/heart is typically predisposed to gratitude?
Let me ask you an easier question. Think about the people around you that interact with you each day. Would you say that the typical person you interact with during the day is characterized by having a thankful attitude?
Think about your boss, or your spouse, or your children, or your coworkers/friends – do you think they are thankful for the hand they’ve been dealt in this life? We’ve all been given different difficulties, and extremeness of difficulty to deal with. The question is: do we handle it with an attitude of thanksgiving? I imagine it’s probably much easier to say that people around us are ungrateful than it is to say we are!
But let me just be transparent so we can all admit it: I find that my heart is not typically predisposed to gratitude. (If the pastor says it, so can I!)
I find this to be the case in several areas of my life. But the clearest way I personally see this is that I am just never satisfied. I’m always trying to improve, or get the latest thing, or I’m just a little bummed at how things currently are —- because my wife will tell you that my life motto is probably: “Eh, it could be better!”
Some people might see this as a positive thing – and there are some positive things about it if I allow God to sanctify it – but it also means that I have a hard time with being thankful sometimes.
A really easy time for me to find that my heart is not filled with gratitude is when I’m driving around on the Seattle Eastside looking at other people’s houses. I don’t know if you’ll relate to this… but when we moved to Bothell, we downsized a bit because we were living in this 1920s type house on Phinney Ridge. The place was a bit of a dump, but it was huge. When we found our place here in Bothell (3 bedrooms, 1.5 bath), we loved it. It was smaller, but had a great yard for the kids, so we downsized and moved in. Now that we’ve lived there a couple years the glossy finish is starting to wear off. The other day our family decided to take a drive around Lake Washington, and the places are beautiful… bit lots, big houses. And I’m like, “What do these people do for a living? This 1.5 bath thing is going to work for another 3 months, tops!”
The thing is… we love our house. If you were to ask Kelly or me, we would say it’s probably our favorite place we’ve ever lived. But when I started comparing myself, it was easy to lose the sense of gratitude that I have a place to live, it has heat, we eat and go out to eat… our life is amazing.
I think our hearts are so prone towards ungratefulness, especially when we start comparing ourselves to others.
So here’s the one big thing I want to impart:
If you cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving and gratitude in your heart, you will find it easier to experience God’s grace and presence in your life.
This is a portion of Pastor Darren Larson’s message from October 21, 2012 diving into Psalm 100. Are you looking for a Christian Church in Woodinville, Washington? Imprint Church is an easy drive from Bothell, Kirkland, and Redmond… we would love for you to join us as a guest this weekend for our contemporary worship service.