A thankful attitude is a choice you make regardless of the situation. You choose your attitude just like you choose the food you eat and the clothes you wear each day. And there’s plenty to be grateful for.
You say, ‘Yes, but there’s plenty to complain about too.’ The point exactly—so you’ve a choice to make! Robinson Crusoe spent 27 years shipwrecked on an island. Here’s part of his journal entry (paraphrased). Let’s call his lists the Gripe list and the Gratitude list.
Gripe: ‘I’m stuck on this desert island without hope.’ Gratitude: ‘I wasn’t drowned like the rest of my ship’s company.’ Gripe: ‘I’ve no clothes.’ Gratitude: ‘I’m in a hot climate; if I had clothes I couldn’t wear them.’ Gripe: ‘I’ve no way to protect myself from man or beast.’ Gratitude: ‘I see no wild beasts here to hurt me as I saw on the coast of Africa. What if I’d been shipwrecked there?’ Gripe: ‘I’ve nobody to talk to.’ Gratitude: ‘God sent the ship in near enough to the shore that I got out so many necessary things as will enable me to supply myself as long as I live.’
That’s powerful stuff! If you can grasp it and put it into practice, it’ll keep you from becoming a member of the Old Testament wilderness club known as ‘the murmurers.’ Your attitude is simply the decision you make about how you’re going to approach things. It isn’t Disneyworld thinking to focus on the good things of life; it’s wisdom!
The above devotion was written/compiled from multiple sources by Tim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church Charities and used here with permission.