Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gratitude

It seems the subject of being grateful is one I like. It comes up often on my blog, maybe because I have learned that by counting your blessings, most of life's annoyance's seem pretty small by comparison. Just waking up each morning is a huge blessing, even if you think your life is a mess and full of unwanted drama. Being alive gives us huge options to change what we don't like in our lives or at least to choose how we look at our circumstances. We also have the option to have faith, to believe that better days are coming and will come. At times there are people in our lives that seem to drive us crazy. They may get in your face, or they may just be someone you love that makes one mistake after another and never seems to listen to the voice of experience. Things like that can make us miserable but what really is happening is that we are allowing them to bother us. There is a verse in the Bible that I love, I memorized it years ago and I believe it, but don't always maintain the kind of peace in my heart that makes it happen. Psalm 119:165 says...Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Imagine that !
If I have a right relationship with God and His ways, then nothing shall offend me ! So that means the stupid boss, the wayward adult child, the man on the road with road rage, the rude person on the phone, etc, they really won't disturb our inner peace because we cannot be offended by their actions, we will feel compassion for them or be so strong that no one can take that peace in our hearts away from us unwillingly !
So often when we feel offended, we feel angry, the first thing we try to do is to label the offender. Match him up to certain verses in the Bible even and then sit back and feel a bit smug, thinking we are RIGHT and they are all WRONG. That is not having peace in our hearts that cannot be offended ! We have been told over and over that judging is wrong and that very kind of action even if unspoken, is judgement. How much better we would feel if we were not offended in the first place, but let the wrong just slip by us and rather than get riled up about it, just pray for the person with a sincere heart, not the "Dear God please convict this person in their heart of all the wrong they are doing" kind of prayer. Pray for their happiness, their freedom from the things that bind them to unhappiness or misdoings.
I am really talking to myself here, reminding myself to live more loving. More forgiving.
Something many Christians do, myself included, when we are offended or someone has had a major negative experience is to throw a text out to them without having to do one thing to make the situation better. As if words alone show love and compassion.
There is a tendency to quote certain scriptures to people when they are suffering or having a hard time with life, but maybe we should think about how trite that can sound and instead of throwing scriptures at them without any heart action, show them that love and compassion that was behind the verse in the first place. Hard stuff to do because it means we have to be in that very place that God asks us to be. Full of His love, full of the mind of Christ. Full of mercy and grace, more than just be full of memorized texts. We need to be more than lip service. More than judgements. More than bitter in our inner most thoughts. We need to be full of gratitude for all the good things in our life or even all the possibilities for good things. We need to find joy in the simple, find that fulfillment in our lives that has nothing at all to do with material items that can be taken away, rot or rust. Its not easy to do, I know that, I fail every single day but I keep trying, keep working at how I think, how I perceive people and situations. I want sympathy to replace when I feel indignant or offended. I want to have patience when someone I love is making a stupid life choice. I want to have the kind of love for others that Christ has for me every day, when I make stupid life choices or I am less than what I should be.
I want to fill every corner of my heart with kindness and mercy. Mercy is a big word, with lots of demand for selflessness.
Today I am grateful for a new day, filled with gratitude actually so I can have another shot at finding inner peace so great that I just can't be offended.
Christ doesn't demand we be perfect or He will not love us, He shows us His wisdom and then lets us stand or fall, always there with a gentle hand to pick us up when we do fall. Oh to be like that !

3 Comments:

Blogger marci said...

This sure is encouraging and inspirational. i really like your deep thoughts that get me to think...ever written a book???

Tuesday, January 19, 2010  
Blogger sandra said...

Wise and thoughtful post. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010  
Blogger Sweetpatootie said...

Very nice. I really needed this today. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010  

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