1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Zara Gandon on the importance of choosing not to complain, but rather to look at what you can be thankful for.

Zara Gandon
Zara Gandon

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

This Life File will be sent out on the 15th March, as I look in my diary as to what is going on that week, I see that my husband is away all week on a leadership course. I will be juggling work, church and parenting by myself.

It would be so easy for me to complain, as I am the one who will be getting up in the night to tend to our son who doesn't like sleep. I will be the one tidying the house at the end of the day when our toddler has emptied everything he can find. I will be doing all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry etc.

My husband will get five good nights sleep, hotel meals and leisure facilities and time with friends and wise mentors.

But I will try to choose not to complain, instead I will try and practice 'the attitude of gratitude'.

Having the attitude of gratitude is a choice. We can choose to live thankful lives. We can choose to be thankful for what we've got rather than what we haven't got.

For me I can rejoice that I have a husband who does his equal share of house chores and parenting, rather than complaining about yet another week of him being away.

In every moment that I think that my husband could have done this, I can choose that moment to pray blessing over him whilst he is away.

When I'm cooking, I can thank God we have a working cooker. When I'm emptying the laundry, I can thank God we have a washing machine. When I am up in the night, I can thank God that I have a bed to sleep in.

There are always things to be thankful for.

Sometimes we can take for granted what is around us, and we don't stop and thank God for these things.

Sometimes we can even take grace for granted and we can lose sight of the wonder of the cross. We can lose sight of just how wonderful Jesus is and that He loves you, He loves you, He loves you!

When I practice the attitude of gratitude, I become more of the person I am created to be, because I fix my eyes on Jesus.

Today, instead of dwelling on what you haven't got, can I encourage you to celebrate what you do have? I promise you, it makes even a bad day, a better day.

If life is so tough that you can't think of anything to be grateful for, what about thanking God for different parts of your body, the clothes you are wearing, or the food you have eaten?

I encourage you to practice the attitude of gratitude. To rejoice is to celebrate. What can you celebrate today? CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.