There are things in this life for which we should be forever grateful. The big things include the gift of salvation and God’s love for us, finding true love, having a family and children of our own, good health, a home, a good job, friends, and the list should go on and on.
Most of us can be grateful for our blessings in the big ways. However, it is in the appreciation of little things that our true character is revealed.
Have you ever spent time with someone who appreciates nothing and complains about everything? Some people have a sense of entitlement as if the world owes them all of life’s good things, but they fail to appreciate what they’ve been given.
Husbands and wives often fail to speak their “thank you” and “I appreciate you” sentences that would mean so much to their spouse. Sure someone has to cook, clean, and do dishes. Someone has to take out the trash and cut the grass. These are mundane chores that must get done. How much lighter would such tasks be if one spouse took time to let the other one know such efforts are not taken for granted.
As proof, I offer consideration of the opposite. Have you ever made an effort to do something for someone at your own inconvenience, only to have them walk away without an ounce of appreciation for whatever trouble you went to in their behalf? It certainly is not motivation to repeat the effort.
Unappreciative people are never satisfied with life. Nothing is ever good enough. No effort is ever big enough. What others offer them in the way of thoughtfulness is overlooked, and even worse, taken for granted.
The golden rule is always good advice. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
In a recent teaching CD series by Joyce Meyer that I listened to in my car while traveling, the focus was being aware of the things that come out of our mouths – when we speak to others, or about others, what we say about ourselves and our blessings, and even when we pray. She made a great point. “If you don’t appreciate the many blessings God has given you (things, relationships, job, possessions, financial security, etc.) why in the world should He ever give you anything else that you are pleading for?”
Oprah Winfrey talked a lot about gratitude and having an attitude of gratitude on her old TV show. Regarding appreciation, she said it well, ““Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
The Bible is filled with verses about being thankful and grateful to God for His blessings. In the gospel of Luke there is a story of how Jesus healed and cleansed ten men of leprosy. Only one returned to give thanks to Jesus for his healing. I fear that many of us get a prayer answered and move right along to the next request without ever truly appreciating the many answers we have already received.
As a veteran school teacher, I can say that much of what a teacher does for his/her students is taken for granted. Teachers often buy class supplies out of their own pocket like pencils, paper, notebooks, or provide a treat for the class in the form of food. There would always be one or two who said “Thank you,” without being prompted or copying someone else. Those students who showed genuine appreciation for my efforts and took time to say a simple, “Thank you,” always stood out in my mind as children who were being well raised by someone.
We are never too old or too young to say, “Thank you.” We should never forget to take the time to appreciate the blessings in our lives or the kindness of others toward us.
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.