bits from bob....

Humbly Grateful or Grumbly Hateful?

by Robert J. Young
©, 2001, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

For a number of years I collected "stars to steer by"--pithy sayings which were reprinted in bulletins and used on the church marquis. Here is a memorable one--"Better to be Humbly Grateful than Grumbly Hateful." Perhaps the contrast is meaningful only in the memorable letter reversal. Humble gratitude, however, is never out of place.

As Christians, we do well to remember that thanksgiving is an attitude, but a holiday. Gratitude is an attitude. Gratitude and grumbling joined are an anomaly (James 3). Life is filled with choices, but few choices are more powerful than the choice between gratitude and grumbling.

I recently read again about the challenge of removing tiny iron particles from a bowl of sand, something I remember we students actually attempting in a high school science class. How would you proceed? A careful examination would allow you to pick out some of the iron. A better approach would be to use a magnet to attract the countless tiny iron filings.

Similarly, when one pulls a grumbling heart through the sands of life, one finds few delights. Pulling a grateful heart through the sands of time, however, finds life full of countless blessings. Which choice have you made? The Thanksgiving season provides a wonderful opportunity to recommit to humble gratitude rather than haughty grumbling. Grumblers overlook the positives of life, grateful persons look over the life of positives. Your cornucopia may be overflowing with blessings you have not seen. One Christian described the overflowing of God into life as "blessings finding me."

This is the case because of a uniquely magnetic person. The magnetic power of Jesus draws all men (John 12), and the magnetic forgiving power of his blood drawn through our lives attracts and removes all sin. Surely we can be grateful for that!

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Last updated November 21, 2001.