To continue with our theme of gratitude, we’re going to talk about some big things that keep us from experiencing true gratitude. I’ve let all of the things below get the best of me and have seen how damaging the consequences can be to my relationships, my walk with the Lord, and even with my mental health. The things listed below are really general but powerful and can seep into each part of your life – even if you aren’t noticing it.
So I want to ask before we get into the list, are you a grateful person? Would the people closest to you agree? If not – what’s keeping you from being grateful? If it’s one of the things below, let’s dig deep and work on it today because, sister, you are fully capable of living with gratitude today.
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.” Romans 12:16
Pride is gross and messy and is deeply rooted in so many ungodly characteristics. The frustrating thing? We’ll never escape it. Our society is fueled by it and sometimes – so are we. I think it’s in our nature to constantly be at risk of elevating ourselves in some way – our jobs, our kids, our things, our relationships, our ministries, even. I think it takes a lot of intentional action to keep ourselves from the power of pride. What’s crazy is that others > self is “Being like Jesus 101,” but is still so unnatural and challenging. Gratitude leads straight to humility which is the greatest victor over pride. Once we start seeing things as gifts, we’ll realize how actually undeserving we are and how grateful we should be. Doing small, thoughtful things every day can lead us away from pride. It’s also helpful to have people in our lives who can tell us with love, “It’s not. about. you.” In my head I read it like this,” It’s not *clap* about *clap* you *clap*” Honestly, I hate pride and selfishness so much. I hate seeing it in myself and others. I know I’m young and this will sound cliche, but the absolute best way to not be selfish is to spend time with God and in the Word every single day. 5 minutes or an hour. It’s actually life-changing.
“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Where are my control freaks at? My Type A sistas? My want to be like Rachel – but more like Monica girls? Oh y’all – if that’s you I am sooo with you. Being a planner, organizer, control freak is so hard-wired into me. I will say, though, that I’m a pretty easy-going person – it takes a lot to bother me, upset me, whatever. But when something I’ve planned goes wrong – I am riddled with guilt and stress. It’s not that my pride is wounded – it’s more like, “How could I have not thought of that?” I think true gratitude shows when we’re faced with something we really don’t want to do – when we haven’t chosen the schedule, the people, the priorities. When it’s unlike what you would’ve chosen – how do you respond? Are you cool with it? Are you fake about being cool with it? Do you respond with complaints + negativity? Or do you respond with grace and meet it with gratitude? Yikes, Caitlin. This one ties really closely to pride. We think our plans, ideas, and priorities are more important or valuable. All we’re actually doing is robbing others of blessing people. Let’s try to take the back seat more – let’s start appreciating the talents and gifts of the people around us. Let’s chilllllllll, girl.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
I am, admittedly, a pretty positive person – so much to where it makes me a little out of touch with reality and truth. I’m working on discernment though, okay? Ha. Something I do know it that there is rarely a good time for negativity. Negativity isn’t a personality trait, y’all. It’s an attitude and it affects our hearts. It can get so deeply rooted, too – making it our gut instinct and first response to things we don’t like. It makes us focus on being the victim verses on the Hero. It makes us struggle with having faith and trust in God’s plan. It makes us dwell on things instead of taking action. Can we please wrap up this way of thinking and replace it with a little bit of trust and gratitude? A little bit of gratitude can go so far and encourage so many. Let’s try to control our tongues and our inner thoughts, too. Let’s rejoice in the small things and feel no shame about it. Let’s see the good in annoying situations and place faith in God in the impossible ones. If we can’t do this on our own let’s take action and seek encouraging community.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
If you’re low on gratitude lately – I get it. I know the feeling. I know there’s a way back to it, too. God is constantly giving. He’s the ultimate provider. When you open your eyes to this, you’ll find the gifts. You’ll find the blessings. You’ll find gratitude. The best place to start is a quick thank you. Here are 10 verses for a great start.
I hope you’re encouraged and I love growing together! I’m praying for each person who reads this to find gratitude today!
Thanks so much for reading.
– Caitlin –