Jun 24, 2013
when we cause other people to be grateful
"i start to get upset about the small things in life and then i think of you guys and i'm filled with gratefulness for all that i have."
i know what they're trying to say. but what they're trying to say is not what i hear.
"sometimes i think my life is hard but then i think about you and realize that you have it much worse than me. then that makes me grateful for all of the prosperity i have in my own life because at least my life isn't as bad as yours."
that's what i hear.
i try not to hear that, try not to have thoughts that twist someone's intended encouragement.
but it's hard to respond to my husband's suffering when we're told we're a source of someone's gratefulness. because then I walk around thinking that people are looking at us and thanking God, or their version of a god, that they're not as messed up as we are. that inherently makes us a victim.
we want to be driven to thankfulness. but we don't want people to be thankful because they don't have trials "as bad as ours," because some day they might and then that crutch that was built will be gone. that comparison, that "at least its not this," sets our heart on a best case scenario instead of on God, with whom there are no best case scenarios - only sovereignty.
i want to be thankful that we have a god so big even the winds and the waves obey Him. when people see us, i want them to be thankful because they see a god that redeems and upholds and a god that sits on His throne. to derive gratefulness from comparison, to maintain the "there are starving kids in Africa" mentality makes the children a victim or object of pity and sets us up for failure when the starvation comes to our families because of adultery, or car accidents, or heartbreak.
to build our thankfulness on comparison and anything other than God himself will only deprive us of the joy that is to be found in deeply-rooted thanksgiving.
i'm praying that i get to that root myself, because the comparisons i make are a costly habit.
thank you, always