As we continue our devotions this week thinking about jealousy, I thought it best to take our last two days to look at a couple of antidotes to jealousy. We’ll begin today with gratitude.
It might help to have a little context about today's scripture focus from Colossians 2. The Apostle Paul is writing to a group of Christians in Colossae (an area in modern-day Turkey). The church there had been established by a disciple of Paul. And while the church was young, it was already under attack. Every aspect of the church’s beliefs and practices was being questioned and criticized. Instead of writing to these vulnerable believers with tactics on how to fight back, Paul invites them to lean ever deeper into their faith. Paul urges them not to quit following Jesus. And using the imagery of a plant deeply rooted, and a building firmly anchored to its foundation, he promises they will grow as they remain faithful. And how will they know they are growing? Thankfulness will “overflow” from them. Paul often used the words overflowing and abounding as a way to describe the life of a fully devoted follower of Jesus.
It’s easier to be jealous than grateful. But will gratitude naturally occur as we grow in our faith? Not necessarily. It begins with a choice. I heard a preacher once say, Keep choosing gratitude until you are grateful. It takes practice. I love the way Maya Angelou puts it, Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.
Your prayers might offer a clue about how grateful you are. Could it be that the prayers of a growing believer will express more gratitude than just a list of requests?