Grateful Living

Grateful Living

Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog

Carl Pollard

There’s a pretty well known quote that people often share on social media. It says, “Gratitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for living.” What is gratitude? Being grateful means recognizing our blessings. There are some people that I don’t mind being inconvenienced by. People that I’d happily help if they needed it, and that’s because these people are grateful. They appreciate and thank you for helping them…Then there are people that I don’t exactly enjoy helping. Why? Because they demand your help and almost seem like they feel entitled to your help. You help them and you don’t get a thank you and they aren’t grateful for your sacrifice. It’s interesting that these people never seem to be happy, and there’s a reason. They fail to be grateful for the blessings they receive. 

When we take the time to be thankful for what we have, we don’t have as much time to think about what we don’t have. If we want to find true joy, focus on being grateful for what God has given us. For example, notice what many Christians have today: 

  • We live in America 
  • We worship in a building each Sunday 
  • We don’t have to walk everywhere 
  • We have a roof over our heads 
  • We have a church family 
  • We have food and clothes 

The list goes on and on. We have plenty to be grateful for, yet sadly we focus on the few things we don’t have. 

Being grateful leads to contentment. We won’t feel cheated in life. Being grateful keeps us from having self-pity because we won’t be stuck thinking about how much more we deserve. Being grateful keeps us from having feelings of jealousy and envy. We won’t be constantly comparing ourselves to others. Notice the gratitude of the psalmist in Psalm 118:1, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” Skipping down to Verse 29 he says, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” The psalmist begins and ends this chapter reminding us why we are to give thanks to the Lord. It is because His love for us never ceases. Again in Psalm 136 we read the words of a man dedicated to thanking God. 

Notice the breakdown of this psalm: 

  • “Give thanks to God” mentioned three times in three verses. 
    • Why? Because He is good and His Love endures forever. 
  • 26 times the phrase “love endures forever.” 
    • The psalmist repeats this phrase and then shows us how He loved us. 
    • Defeated kings, gave us land, led his people in the wilderness, etc.

Why should we be grateful? Because God Loves us. And He shows us that He cares. Gratitude brings about happiness. Joy in recognizing how great God’s love is for us. 

Gratitude is seeing all the many ways that God had blessed us.

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