Christian Business

The Gratitude Challenge

In the short time I’ve been on this earth I’ve seen this truth in action time and time again.

If you approach a person or a situation looking for the negative, you will find it.

If you approach a person or a situation looking for the positive, you will find it.

Expectation is a powerful thing. It narrows down our focus and perception to the very core of what we consider important and of value.

“At the core of every upset is an unmet expectation.”

– Rev. Daniel Kamau

Many of us treat our bosses, colleagues and workplaces the way we treat our significant others and our relationships – we have made them responsible for our happiness. Our joy and contentment rests solely on their shoulders. Our work is to show up. Their job is to make us happy and comfortable.

When they, oblivious to the charge we have given them, fail to meet our joy quotient, we get mad at them. We sulk and throw tantrums at them. We lament about their presence in our lives. Our attitude and our posture towards them becomes that of a petulant toddler who is adamant in having things their way, and only their way.

The irony is that the people, jobs, workplaces, opportunities, etc we bitterly complain about, we once fervently prayed for. But because our answered prayer didn’t come in the form of a perfect vessel, we’ve got problems. Big ones.

One of the things we need to come to terms with, especially as believers, is that divine things are not devoid of challenges. Salvation is not a ticket out of trials. Just because God gave you a job or sent you to a particular workplace doesn’t mean that everything will be smooth sailing. If anything, by virtue of being there in the name of God, there are things that we will have to contend with that others may not.

Persecution arises for the word of God. As a vessel God is continually using to carry and fulfill His word, you’re going to get hit by attacks. And when you’re not getting hit, you’re going to be working to get things done. Getting anything done in life often means surmounting obstructions that are standing in your way. This includes everything from laziness and procrastination to self- doubt and indiscipline.

It’s been said quite aptly – a bad day/moment isn’t a bad life. At any given moment in your life, there are things that are working as you want them to and things that you’d like to be better. This holds true for us all notwithstanding the highlight reels we regard so much on social media.

Don’t let the 20% of your life that isn’t working make you oblivious to the 80% that is. (thanks Jenn Johnson!)

If we’re waiting for everything in our life to meet our standards of perfection to be thankful, we’ll be waiting all the way to the grave.

Count your blessings, name them one by one

Count your blessings, see what God has done

Count your blessings, name them one by one

Count your blessings, see what God has done.

– Sunday School Chorus

Often, the simplest truths are the most profound and powerful.

Gratitude in the midst of challenges may seem like an ineffective strategy to some. But the power of gratitude lies in its ability to shift our focus from that which isn’t working to that which is still working; from the difficulty of impossibility to the possibility of victory.

Negativity has a tendency to be louder than positivity. Where the negative yells and screams for our attention, the positive quietly beckons us to be still and thankful.

When we’re thankful, we can’t help but adopt a posture of praise. A posture that not only brings us joy independent of circumstances but gives us hope and strength. A posture that reminds us that we serve a God who can do the impossible and we can indeed do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.

These verses cease to be platitudes we heartily recite without true understanding and become the very real, raw and powerful testimonies of our lives.

God ceases to be some ethereal being living somewhere up there and becomes a true Friend and Confidant

So this is my challenge to you.

Take responsibility for your joy and contentment.

Develop a posture of expecting to see the goodness of God every day at work.

Count your blessings in your workplace/business.

Literally name them one by one and give thanks for each one.

You’ll be surprised just how much the Lord has already done and is in the process of doing.

You’ll be surprised at the wonder-working power of joy and gratitude in your life and every environment you walk into.

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