You and I were created to be thankful. Deep down inside our hearts and minds, we know we're supposed to be content. Unfortunately, envy, resentments, and various circumstances of life can derail us along the way.
Instead of being positive and thankful, we find ourselves being 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 people would find that the complaints outweigh the praises.
I don't think anybody is grumpy on purpose. Nobody intends to be ungrateful. Discontentment 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)
Here are a few thoughts for those who wish to nurture a grateful heart:
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 a 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 can broadcast the day's events 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, and you will not dwell on the garbage.
A person who habitually complains, gossips, and criticizes needs a spiritual tune-up!
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.