“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
After the Hebrew children were freed from slavery, they wandered basically in circles for forty years before they reached the Promised Land—a distance of 250 miles that should have only taken less than a year.
One would think that after being freed, the people would rejoice—that the promise to come would be enough to sustain them; but on the contrary, they began to complain almost the instant they were free and continued grumbling the entire time.
Today, the same scenario exists. God continues to work in people’s lives, and with a prevailing ungrateful attitude people walk around asking, “What’s in it for me?”
“When we don’t get exactly what we want, we grumble. We blame. We feel a spirit of grievance. We are unhappy with our lot in life.”
The solution to this pitiful outlook begins by expressing a spirit of gratitude. This begins with thanks to God and extends to those around us. When we show appreciation for our family, friends, co-workers, clients, even strangers, “we improve their self-esteem, their sense of purpose, their confidence, their motivation to do good deeds and fully engage in life.”
The Hebrew people were motivated by fear and lacked faith; but the one leading them, Moses, was motivated by courage and had great faith.
“Now, brothers and sisters, we ask you to appreciate those who work hard among you, who lead you in the Lord and teach you.” I Thess. 5:12-13
I feel that many people have been wandering since the BP oil spill devastated their lives. I can’t pretend to know what they’re going through; but I have experienced my own setbacks, let downs, and devastations in life. It wasn’t until I began to have a stronger faith and made a decision to be thankful for the things and people I do have that I began to bless others through gratitude and open myself up to receive God’s love and grace for myself.
True appreciation starts by reflecting on ourselves and figuring a way to make things right with those we’ve underappreciated in the past. Maybe we owe a debt that should’ve been paid. We could start to make that situation right by apologizing and making an effort to pay what we can in good faith to alleviate what’s rightfully owed. (I’ll use the “My Name is Earl” example here).
“You know the kind of guy who does nothing but bad things and then wonders why his life sucks? Well, that was me. Every time something good happened to me, something bad was always waiting ‘round the corner: karma. That’s when I realized that I had to change, so I made a list of everything bad I’ve ever done, and one by one, I’m gonna make up for all my mistakes. I’m just trying to be a better person. My name is Earl.”
What are you being motivated by—is it fear or faith?
We can help you, but YOU have to be courageous, take steps of faith, and do what’s right.
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