This season of Lent, I am trying to meditate on gratitude. As I consider gratitude and whether or not I'm living a life filled with thankfulness, my mind is conflicted with thoughts of comparison.
I know, I know. Comparison is the root of inferiority. Comparison is the root of much unhappiness. Yet, when I think of what I'm thankful for, I confess I often compare my so called [blessings] with others.
Sure, I'm thankful for the income our family receives monthly. But, comparatively, shouldn't we be making more? We're middle aged, educated. My husband has a master's degree, for gosh sakes!
I'm thankful, likewise, for many material things, as well as for many non-material: my husband, my children, extended family members who love me. Yet, I sometimes compare relationships; I sometimes look into the windows of others lives and compare.......
There are also times when I go the other way. Asking why I have so much and others have so little. I sat in my office last week and talked to a man who, with his wife, escaped The Congo. I simply cannot relate to his stories. He's dealt with survival at its primal. I've had problems, issues, setbacks, but frankly, nothing like what he's gone through. So I question the fairness. Sure I can be grateful for what I have. But how about him? I'm sure he's thankful to be here now. But there's a different degree of gratitude in a refuge camp than at my dinner table. He wasn't sure if he'd survive. I know I have everything I need and much more.
I suppose what it comes down to is: Choice.
Gratitude is a choice I can make. And I need to make it without comparing. Simply be grateful. Be thankful. Be content.
Colossians 3:15 [AMP]
let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as
umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality
all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which
as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And
be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].
...and be thankful