How grateful am I really?

In this blog I want to share something I’m dealing with and that has become very magnified living here in Thailand. I didn’t realise I had this problem and when I got to know the Thai’s I thought it was just a Thai problem – what they call “Preup Teeup” – but I’ve discovered it’s really a human problem. It’s my problem!

It’s the problem of comparing. Where does it spring from? Why am I so prone to it and find it easy to do?

Now, I know there is a good form of comparing – when I want to assess how I am doing in sports, or some other activity so that I can gauge whether I am actually improving or not.

But rather, it’s the following form of comparing I want to address as the Lord has begun to speak to me about it…

A complaining or murmuring attitude is borne out of a heart that compares – Why do we have to do it if they don’t? Why do they get to have that but we don’t? Why do they get to go and we don’t? How come they have better support than I do? Why do they get noticed and I don’t? I could go on with examples, but do you get the picture?

Our comparing leads to us complaining. We begin to grumble about what is, or what is not, or what should be.

When I complain I am not bringing life to the person I am complaining too! Rather, I am bringing a form of death – discouragement. So, if complaining helps to produce death the opposite would also be true – when I don’t complain I’m helping to produce life!

Oh but Paul, you say, I don’t complain to people I just complain to God! Well, what is your complaining to God doing to your relationship with him? Is it growing your relationship with him, bringing intimacy and a deeper appreciation of his love for you? Is it helping you to fall more in love with him?

I doubt it very much. The opposite would be more to the truth.

The fruit of living life without grumbling or complaining is that it will help us in living a life which is blameless and pure. In other words, there won’t be things that people can accuse us of, we’ll be above reproach! You see, there’s something beautiful and attractive about people who don’t complain but show a spirit of gratefulness.

That’s what Paul tells us in Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV): [14] Do everything without complaining or arguing, [15] so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe [16] as you hold out the word of life…

What kind of life am I living? Is it bringing life to others or is it bringing death. Are there things that people can easily criticize us for? Like people who talk incessantly, I don’t enjoy being around people who complain a lot – they seem so negative and have trouble seeing the brighter, better side of life!

A non-complaining life is a life that empowers – it will empower me and it will empower others.

Do I find myself falling easily into the trap of comparing? A wonderful posture I am discovering that helps to combat the tendency to compare is to have a heart and an attitude of gratefulness.

I find I compare most when I am not grateful. May I grow in my attitude of gratefulness that I soon develop a habit of gratefulness! This is my safeguard against comparing, complaining and ungratefulness.

What am I grateful for? These are good things to be pondering and meditating on.

What about you? What are you grateful for? When was the last time you expressed your gratefulness?

Begin to share your gratefulness with others, especially with those who are complaining and watch the changes that happen. It really is hard to keep complaining when the person I’m complaining to begins to express things they are grateful for! Now when I find myself falling into a complaining posture I want to try looking for things I can be grateful for and start speaking them out. There will always be something I can be grateful for if I just take a little look.

Give it a try…

This entry was posted in Behavior, Being Teachable, Choices, Comparing, Complaining, Emotional Responses, Gratefulness, Humlity. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How grateful am I really?

  1. Susie says:

    Recently for me – despite the discouragement of being in pain so much of the time, I find myself truly grateful for being in Chiang Rai for this season. Its the unexpected gift that has come out of an unexpected change of plans. However, being grateful when in pain is a pretty hard thing to do – but you are right – I know that when I get dragged down by how I feel, and start raving on to God with all my complaints – there is NEVER any good fruit. I find that having a ‘partner’ for the first time in Ministry, its great to be able to take time at the end of the day and thank God together for all the good things that have come our way. As you say – if you look hard you can find things to be grateful for. Today I am choosing to be grateful – and am believing that tomorrow will be even better than today.

    • lannalife says:

      Good onya Susie. Having supportive people around us does make a great deal of difference. The reality is, in the midst of pain it is very hard to be grateful and to see the bright side of life. The pain keep crying out for attention and so it is so much easier to listen to that. From my experience, it’s when I start to focus on that pain and agree with it all that my battle to be grateful really begins.

      May you have a even better day than you expected Susie. Thanks for your comments.

  2. fragmentz says:

    hi there
    thanks for swinging by my blog, for taking the time to read some of it, and to also reply!
    much appreciated. i am always humbled that people do read what i write.
    Out of interest how did you stumble across it?
    i am glad you did as i have now found your blog too which has some really interesting posts!
    i’ll be reading more as the week goes on 🙂
    fragmentz x

    • lannalife says:

      I stumbled across you through The Blog Farm. I just scan through to see what people are saying and if I see one that interests me then I read it. I look for people whom I see as being real and honest about their life and journey. I see you Fragmentz as one who is seeking to be real about your pain and life for you.

      My blogs are not mainstream in that they reflect what the church might believe or teach but they are a true reflection of my journey. Thanks for reading. With love, Paul.

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