gratitude vs comparison

This season of Lent, I am trying to meditate on gratitude.  As I consider gratitude and whether or not I’m living a life filled with thankfulness, my mind is conflicted with thoughts of comparison.

I know, I know.  Comparison is the root of inferiority.  Comparison is the root of much unhappiness.  Yet, when I think of what I’m thankful for, I confess I often compare my so called [blessings] with others.

Sure, I’m thankful for the income our family receives monthly.  But, comparatively, shouldn’t we be making more?  We’re middle aged, educated.  My husband has a master’s degree, for gosh sakes!

I’m thankful, likewise, for many material things, as well as for many non-material:  my husband, my children, extended family members who love me.  Yet, I sometimes compare relationships; I sometimes look into the windows of others lives and compare…….

There are also times when I go the other way.  Asking why I have so much and others have so little.  I sat in my office last week and talked to a man who, with his wife, escaped The Congo.  I simply cannot relate to his stories.  He’s dealt with survival at its primal.  I’ve had problems, issues, setbacks, but frankly, nothing like what he’s gone through.  So I question the fairness.  Sure I can be grateful for what I have.  But how about him?  I’m sure he’s thankful to be here now.  But there’s a different degree of gratitude in a refuge camp than at my dinner table.  He wasn’t sure if he’d survive.  I know I have everything I need and much more.

I suppose what it comes down to is:  Choice.

Gratitude is a choice I can make.   And I need to make it without comparing.  Simply be grateful.  Be thankful.  Be content. 

Colossians 3:15 [AMP]
And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

…and be thankful

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