Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Interrupt Anxiety with Gratitude

It's so easy to look at other people who have more friends or money, more followers on Social Media, a better car, etc. and feel envious as we compare our lives to theirs.

God is teaching me lately to be thankful for everything from the grand to the measly; whether it is a new car or the luxury of having running water and electricity at home, the reasons for praising God are endless!

Imagine life without the many seemingly insignificant aspects of our lives at home or work.  Even though a job might not pay as much as we'd like, we're still employed.  Even though we don't have all the latest fashions, trinkets, or technology does not negate all we do have.  If we have only two dollars in our bank account after the rent and bills are paid, at least we are not left in debt for the month.  Do you see where I am going with this?  All we must do is look around at everything we have (including books, more than one pair of shoes, a toaster, the ability to walk or see, etc.) and give thanks for all of it.  Everything becomes a luxury when you think of the less fortunate!  In America, we have freedom of choice and freedom of speech.  Many people are not paralyzed, have all (or most) of their limbs, eyesight, hearing, transportation (whether that be by car, train, plane, bus, or walking).  There are even sidewalks and trash pickup a lot of places (have you ever had to walk on a dirt road or live in a state where you have to bring all your trash to the dump?  I imagine it isn't a fun experience)!

Regardless of the material wealth others have accumulated, or the appearance of a perfect home life in the family next door...keep in mind that you really don't know all they are going through, what their childhood was like, addictions they may struggle with, secrets they are hiding, feelings of loneliness or fear that keep them awake at night, anger they are harboring, broken relationships, lack of money, abuse, eating disorders, insecurity, cancer, substance abuse, an alcoholic parent or family members, or a host of other issues or burdens they are dealing with or have been carrying since they were much younger.

Surrender your life in its entirety to Christ; living according to His will, for His glory, and to the advancement of His Kingdom.  Each day we live we are given the chance to worship and exalt the Lord, dwell on the truths presented in Philippians 4: 8 and practice gratitude, being thankful for just having breath in our lungs and a beautiful sky to look up at...OR we can complain about everything (trust me, I've been there), put ourselves down, and think about all that is wrong with our lives, family, and appearance.

We can be thankful for everything God has graciously bestowed upon us (trials and unanswered prayer included because He knows best) or we can find every reason in the book to be mad and feel hatred toward those who appear to have a better life.  The key word is appear.  You really don't know.

The choice is ours.

"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."  Philippians 4: 11-13


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