Humans are created to be thankful. Deep in our hearts, we know we're supposed to be content. Unfortunately, envy, resentments, and various circumstances derail us along the way.
Instead of being positive and thankful, we become negative, ungrateful, and petty. (In other words - hard to live with!)
Think about it for a moment. If you were to measure your uplifting thoughts of gratitude v.s. your mental visits to the "complaint department" during the last week, which would win out?
Most folks would find that the complaints far outweigh the praises.
Nobody is grumpy on purpose. We don't intend to be ungrateful. Discontent sneaks up on us and attacks us from behind. Often, we don't even realize when we are being a negative pain in the neck!
The Bible recognizes this fact of human nature, and reminds us to "Give thanks in all circumstances." (I Thess. 5:17)
If you wish to nurture a grateful heart, consider these suggestions:
1) Declare war on petty negativism!
As soon as you are aware of its nasty presence in your heart, evict it immediately and lock the door. Why keep that smelly skunk in the house?
2) Count your blessings.
There are many things going right in your life. Focus on these, rather than the annoyances.
3) Refuse to compare yourself with others.
The comparison trap breeds selfishness, self-pity and greed.
4) Change the channel!
Your mind broadcast the day's events either through Channel P (positive) or Channel N (negative). You get to choose your announcer. In our house, if someone is being a grouch, it's not uncommon for somebody else to say, "It's time to change to Channel P!"
5) Keep God at the center of your mind, and you will not dwell on the garbage.
A person who habitually complains, gossips, and criticizes needs a spiritual tune-up! Thankful hearts and healthy souls are always found together.
6) Commit yourself to encouraging others.
As you focus on helping others, your heart will be filled with sunshine! I've never met a negative encourager. When you encourage others, you give a gift to yourself.