Upside Down Gratitude

Upside Down Gratitude, Part Five

There are times in our faith when that’s all we can muster, and if that is where you are, please keep doing what you’re doing through this season. Keep finding hope. Keep looking for the positive.

Think about it as noticing a blooming flower. You’re so grateful for the glimpse of beauty. It’s a boost you needed today. It feels like a blessing, as if God is winking at you. What if it’s a dandelion? You know it’s a weed. You know they’ll spread. But you decide at least it’s a little color in your yard, and it won’t last long anyway. It’s a blessing to you. What if rabbits begin to come into your yard to snack on the dandelions, as well as your vegetable garden? I mean, the rabbits are cute, and you don’t want anything to happen to them, so you’re willing to give up your vegetable garden to keep them happy. What’s the big deal? 

Well, there’s not much of a big deal in most cases, but the slippery slope of finding something that’s acceptable even as challenges continue to increase can cause additional dilemmas that could have been dealt with with a different perspective at an earlier stage. I’m not saying one or another perspective is wrong or the goal should be specific; I want you to simply consider how consistently looking for the positive might help you be accepting and flexible but also might lead you to some challenges that are more significant and time-consuming than is needed. Your positive thoughts might be the fertilizer as you unwittingly cultivate gratitude-blockers.

It is commendable that you strive to follow the directive to give thanks in everything. Be sure you keep the verse and your gratitude in context. Be sure you are being grateful within God’s will. If not, you might slowly entertain and think positively about some situations that aren’t the healthiest. 

I see this happen in the church frequently. Because people want to be nice, they overlook some things. They want to be proper and appropriate and loving, but they don’t keep kindness and love in the context of God’s courage, boldness, strength, and truth. They might feel good to be around because they seem positive and encouraging, but they might not personally grow, and they might not influence others to grow, because being nice and proper is more highly valued than God’s healthy boundaries of encouragement and accountability. Let’s remember to keep the context of who God is and how he encourages and instructs us.

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