Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. -1 Thess 5:16 – 18
Give thanks in all circumstances.. Don’t you wish that sometimes you could just shake some people you know and quote this passage to them? No, I am not advocating violence, but wouldn’t it be great if we could just get others to listen?
We all know at least one person, if not many, who are always complaining about not having this or that, of wanting more then they have now. Whether it is a bigger house, a new car, a better job or a thousand other things, they are always complaining and whining. How about we just be thankful for what we already have? Why don’t just stop and take the time to thank God for th
e job we do have. There are plenty of people who would love to have any job never mind the one you have. How about thanking God that you have a roof over you head and you aren’t living on the street or in the back seat of your car? Instead of looking at what others have, why don’t we look at what others might not have, then compare this to what we have. You might be surprised at the difference.
This world we live in has been tricked by the Evil One to believe that we need the material things in life, that they are more important than anything else. He has led us to believe that we need to have the latest, newest and of course, most expensive gadgets or we just aren’t good enough. I used to think that way although not as bad as others. Now I am not like that, not even a little bit. I have been in far worse circumstances than I am now, but still I always knew there were others that were worse off than I was. All you need to do is look around you and you will see. Of course so many of us don’t want to see what is around us, after all if we took the time to do this we would see that just maybe we aren’t so bad off after all. Then what would we have to complain about?
You think your house isn’t good enough? Take a walk through any town or city, no matter how small and you will find at least one person or family that is worse off than you. They might be homeless or they just might live in a one bedroom apartment with a family of six. You complain because you only have a 60 inch flat screen? That guy sleeping on the bench has none. You think because your child acts up a little bit that he must have some kind of behavioral disorder and needs therapy and medications? Come visit where I work and you will see what real behavioral disorders look like.
What is the biggest difference between most of us and the family cramped into a one bedroom apartment with no heat or hot water, or the guy sleeping on the bench or the people where I work with severe disabilities? They aren’t complaining. They are thankful for what they have, as little as it might be.
The other day during a snowstorm I was watching some program about people driving on the most dangerous roads in the world to deliver goods and people to some of the most isolated places in the world. These drivers would drive to these places in old vehicles, literally patched together with string, duct tape and baling wire, knowing that they were the only way anything would get to these places. They make very little money, if any, but they do it anyway. There was one driver who delivered food to a school literally in the middle of nowhere because if he didn’t these children wouldn’t eat.
All these people, whether the drivers or the people they helped all had one thing in common. They didn’t complain about their circumstances, rather they were thankful to God for what they had and they tried to help others no matter what the cost to themselves might be. Would any of us want to trade lives with them?
Take some time this week to thank God for all you have instead of complaining about what you do have. Spend some time at a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen and compare lives with those who are there. Then thank God again.