Every once in awhile we have one of those lessons that God seems to keep bringing up over and over. Whether that be to teach us that we need to make a change in our lives or to just learn what not to do from others. Over the past few weeks, the lesson that God has been bringing up over and over in my life is that of being grateful.
A few weeks ago I was doing a bible study on character traits with a local teenager and one of the traits was gratefulness. We talked about how rather than thinking that God or anyone else owes us anything we need to be thankful for what has been given to us or done for us. And not only be thankful, but express our gratitude to others to let them know how we appreciate them.
After the lesson a few things began to happen with me personally. First of all, I became even more aware of how i need to make more of an effort to express gratefulness to those in my life, and even more so how I need to express this gratefulness daily through prayer and my walk to God. Also, as Erin and i began talking about our supporters and those making sacrifices for us to stay on the mission field, I want to be sure to let them know as much and as often as possible how thankful we are for all their financial and prayer support.
Next, I began to notice other people and how they responded to people in times they should be thankful. I saw some people go out of their way to let others know how thankful they were. Sadly, I also saw more often than I would like to others who were totally apathetic in times where they should be grateful. I saw where some people totally blew off those who have sacrificed and invested in them. Often times i don’t think people even are purposefully ungrateful, but so wrapped up in themselves they just don’t get it. It makes me want to shake them and say wake up and realize what’s going on.
I’m not trying to toot my own horn or anything remotely like that. I guess what I am trying to express is that I am thankful and grateful that God has just made it blindingly apparent to me that I have got to guard myself from the selfishness that kills gratefulness. If I ever fall into that I pray that God sends someone to shake me awake!