BY GERALD COWAN ─ Your attitude can make or break you, heal or hurt you, bring you happiness or misery, success or failure. Perhaps if we work on one thing – thanksgiving – other things, like praise, will develop and come naturally.
Count your own blessings, not the blessings of others. The grass often appears greener elsewhere than it is in your own yard. If you are going to count the blessings of others, be glad they have them. Don’t envy them or try to take their blessings away from them.
Give others something to be thankful for. Not only physical things but such intangible things things as love, appreciation, a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on or cry on can be more valuable than a pot of stew or a pie.
Give yourself to another – to your spouse, to your children, to your parents, to a friend. It may be hard to do, but it is much more meaningful and enduring than some tangible but temporary perishable thing.
Of course, above all you should give yourself to God, to your Lord and Savior Jesus. Do you really feel honest when singing, “I am Thine, O Lord”?
It is right to count your blessings (whether few or many) and be glad for what is given to you. But one of our generally and most frequently uncounted blessings is the ability to bless others by giving to them and helping them, doing something for them.
If you were asked, “Can you and do you depend upon the Lord,” how would you answer? It is right to say, if true, “Yes. I can and I do depend on the Lord.” If or when asked, “Can the Lord depend on you?” it may be more difficult to answer honestly. Only the Lord God himself is truly independent, needs nothing He cannot supply for Himself. But do you know there are some things God cannot do without you, unless and until your part is done?
Do not make all your prayers some form of Gimme gimme God: “God give me this, God do this for me, God give me something that deserves my gratitude to You.” Instead try this:
“Dear Father God, to whom I owe all things, even my very being, what can I do that will please You? What place can I have in getting your will done for myself and for all others?”
A THANKSGIVING PRAYER
For so many blessings we owe a great debt.
The trouble with us is we quickly forget.
The trouble may be that we just do not know
The cost of our comfort, and how much we owe
To others for benefits freely received.
We spend time complaining and feel greatly grieved
When we do not get what we think we deserve.
We ought to be looking for ways we can serve,
Expecting no praise, but content just to, “Do
Unto others what you want done to you.”
The one who has much must be willing to share
With those who have little. We must learn to care!
The Lord proved His love by living and dying
For us. Our love for others means trying
To be like the Lord and to give as He gives,
To prove by our lives that the Savior still lives.
By living for Him we acknowledge the debt
We can never repay and must never forget.
– Gerald Cowan
The above article is an excerpt from Gerald’s “Personal Periodicals” no. 782.