Gratitude For Our Gifts
Submitted by Bill Deneen
One of my high school mentors was privileged enough to hear Mother Teresa speak in the early 1980’s. She talked of her work with God’s children and what an honor it was to serve. What a humble statement from a person that gave up all she knew, moved to another country and helped those that had absolutely nothing.
A person in the crowd asked how we as American’s could live our lives, comfortable as we are, without feeling guilty. You would expect a judgmental, condemning response from someone that lives among the poorest people in the world while talking to the most affluent society in human history, but that of course was not the case. Her response was longer than one word, but it was presented to me with one word: gratitude.
We are all given gifts. The realization that these gifts are from God, and that we should actively use those gifts, should not leave a feeling of guilt, but a feeling of gratitude. Gratitude is defined as appreciation, or thankfulness, a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. Dictionaries also state that gratitude may refer to a feeling of indebtedness towards a deity, of course in our case, Jesus Christ.
This realization helps me in not only realizing the gifts I have, such as a loving family, wonderful church community, employment, and a beautiful home (among many other things), but that things that I am able to give and share are also gifts. Tithing and charity are not only gifts for those that receive, but are also gifts to those that give, creating a positive emotion or attitude – sounds a lot like gratitude.
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see in the final analysis. it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.