Monday, 20 September 2021

Growing gratitude

AS Christmas advertising begins in earnest, and I am aware of the things I don’t yet have but like the look of, I find myself easily feeling ungrateful for the many wonderful things I already enjoy.

This is in marked contrast to the attitudes of so many we meet from other parts of the world and I need to beware of that attitude of ingratitude which so readily appears.

I find the words of the English 17th century poet George Herbert helpful:

“Thou that has given so much to me, give one thing more: a grateful heart.”

Herbert realised that the only thing he needed in order to be thankful was simply an awareness of the blessings God had already given him.

Ingratitude has always been endemic to the human soul and flourishes in our culture and Christians are not immune either.

I was reading recently about Alexander Whyte, a well-known 19th century Scottish minister, how one afternoon he visited an elderly parishioner who never stopped complaining about everyone and everything.

He was, in that moment, reminded of Psalm 103:2: “Praise the LORD… and forget not all his benefits.”

How urgently we all need to hear that sometimes!

The Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus Christ is, in fact, the source of all the blessings for which we should be grateful, from the everyday to the extravagant: “From Him and through Him and to Him are all things.” (Romans 11:36.)

Will you join me in cultivating a greater sense of gratitude?

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