|Image from ChristArt.com|
Does that sound familiar? Have any of those thoughts ever crossed your mind? I definitely fall prey to these thoughts at times when pride, jealousy and/or selfishness seep into my heart. Self-centeredness has no place in God's kingdom even though it comes so naturally.
"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people." 2 Timothy 2:1-5
Paul is telling Timothy to avoid people like this. Are you putting yourself first, giving more thought to your own happiness, pleasures or ego than God's or others? Are you someone that should be avoided because their selfishness and pettiness are hurting the work of the church? Do you try to put on a godly exterior while refusing to let God into your heart?
I think we all fall into this rut at times, but that's where developing an Attitude of Gratitude can come in!
(I borrowed the phrase Attitude of Gratitude from Mr. Steve for those of you who know him. I'm sure he won't mind. ;))
So how do I have an Attitude of Gratitude?
- An Attitude of Gratitude comes from a Heart of Humility.
"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." Philippians 2:3.
To be a Christian who has a Heart of Humility you must constantly put God and others first and wanting what's best for them. Gratitude and positivity will flow freely because of the love you have for others. You will continually bless others with encouraging comments instead of complaining about them behind their backs. You notice what others are doing, even the small things and THANK THEM instead of always pointing out the one or two inconsequential things that you would have done differently. Pray for God's help to put your own selfishness to the side and think about others.
- An Attitude of Gratitude comes from a Person of Purity.
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." Luke 6:45.
If your heart is filled with dark thoughts, jealousy and malice, they are eventually going to come out of your mouth. Pray for God to purify and cleanse your heart so that it will be full of "good treasure." Doesn't having a heart full of "good treasure" sound like a wonderful thing? When your heart is full of God's goodness, having an Attitude of Gratitude will be easy!