Here’s a list of things I’m not grateful for:
1. My best friend moving to Tanzania.
2. Ratchets (ghetto people who eat in my restaurant, send back their Cajun Jambalaya Pasta, and tip me with loose change and pocket lint.) The standard is twenty percent, not twenty cents. Ya heard?
3. 17 feet of snow.
4. Being on a date and having someone you used to work with serve you and come over every four minutes and ramble awkwardly about things you COULD NOT CARE LESS about.
5. People driving either too fast or too slow in my lane.
6. Techno. Why? Just. Why.?
7. Tofu and tofu accessories.
In February, my challenge is 29 days of gratitude and joy. The goal is to give thanks and rejoice in all things. This doesn’t mean bad things will stop happening, so I will have to find a way to have a good attitude come hell or high water. That means looking for the good in every situation.
How is it possible?
Trusting Jesus. I know, so predictable, but it’s just the truth! If God is truly working all things together for the good of his people, I can trust that he won’t let my circumstances get the best of me. If I am facing a trial, I just have to pray and ask him for help, and then I have to be obedient in my interactions and responses, no matter how ungodly the other person may be or how unfair the situation is.
What this looks like practically:
No complaining or negativity (this includes anger, gossiping, whining, pity parties, etc ). Not to myself, not to God, not to others. Instead, prayer, and then..praise. Thanking God for his character and his faithfulness, and for any good that he can cause to come out of the trial. Choosing to look at each situation as an opportunity to trust Christ.
Asking God to reveal any sin in my heart concerning my anger, hurt, or frustration. Am I reacting out of pride, or jealousy, or hatred? Repenting of whatever negativity is blossoming inside, and asking God for his heart and eyes in the situation. Maybe your kindness won’t change the other person’s heart, but it will change yours. Choosing gratitude and joy might not change the diagnosis, but Jesus will shine through your attitude and many will be blessed by it and wonder where the hope and strength you possess came from.
By choosing gratitude, we choose to honor God. We exercise our spiritual muscles. We shut down the lies and temptation of the enemy to “curse God and die” when things aren’t going our way. We show that we believe God is good and in control.
I know I’m going to fail a lot during this journey, but I can be grateful (see, I can do this!) for the progress I will make and God’s joy in a heart seeks to please him.