The Lord has been speaking to me a lot about the subject of comparison and discontentment so I decided to write a series on the topic. I’ve been struggling for weeks to know how to start the series because there’s SO much to talk about when it comes to those matters of the heart.
But when I woke up the other day the Lord told me to start by writing about gratitude. At first I thought it was a little strange but the more I thought about it the more I felt it was the perfect place to start because when our hearts, and our lives, lack gratitude, that’s what leads us to wrestle with things like comparison and discontentment.
Webster’s dictionary defines gratitude as –
the state of being grateful : thankfulness
I love that it describes it as a “state of being” and not just a “feeling” because true gratitude is a state of mind, not just a feeling that comes and goes. When we live with a thankful state of mind, every aspect of our lives will reflect it. I love the way King David puts it in Psalm 9 –
Lord, I will worship you with extended hands as my whole heart explodes with praise! I will tell everyone everywhere about your wonderful works and how your marvelous miracles exceed expectations! I will jump for joy and shout in triumph as I sing your song and make music for the Most High God.” Psalm 9:1-2 (tPt)
When our hearts “explode with praise” for all God has done for us, it’s impossible to look around and compare what we have/don’t have, with others, because our focus is on the Lord and how much He has blessed us!
The Bible talks a lot about being thankful and having a grateful heart, in fact 1 Thessalonians 5:18, tells us to “be thankful in all circumstances…” Whether you have, or have not, being thankful in “all circumstances” means always being grateful for what you do have.
Think about your kids. When you give them a gift, or do something special with them, how much does it bless your heart when they overflow with gratitude? I know when my daughters say thank you, and show true gratitude for my gifts, it blesses me so much, sometimes I can even feel my heart swelling with pride.
On the flip side, when I do something special for them and they take it for granted, never even bothering to say thank you, it actually makes me mad and it does not motivate me to want to do special things for them in the future. There have been times we’ve dealt with ungratefulness to such an extent that my husband and I actually started to take things away, just to make a point of how blessed they really are.
Just like we are shaping our children and encouraging them to be thankful for what they have, the Lord is also shaping us. When we allow our hearts to be flooded with gratitude, it blesses Him so much!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! How beautiful it is when we sing our praises to the beautiful God; for praise makes you lovely before Him and brings Him great delight! Sing out with songs of thanksgiving to the Lord! Let’s sing our praises with melodies overflowing!” Psalm 147:1, 7 (tPt)
I truly believe that if we fill our hearts with gratitude, and focus our attention on how blessed we are, and how much God has given us, there won’t be room left to look around and think about what we don’t have.
Gratitude is a state of mind that leads us into a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father and leads us to even greater blessings in our lives. Gratitude begets gratitude and leads to true enrichment and fulfillment.
True enrichment comes from the blessing of the Lord, with rest and contentment in knowing that it all comes from Him.” Proverbs 10:22 (tPt)
Lastly, while I was reading through scripture preparing for this series, I came across this passage in Proverbs that I felt was so important. This should be the prayer of our hearts every day of our lives, so I’m going to place it at the end of each of the posts in this series –
God, empty out of my heart everything that is false – every lie, and every crooked thing. And give me neither undue poverty nor undue wealth – but rather, feed my soul with the measure of prosperity that pleases you. May my satisfaction be found in you.” Proverbs 30:8-9a (tPt)
To read the next post in this series (available 9/18) click HERE.