We’ve all seen it: a kid opens 10 presents at Christmas and shouts for joy each time. No more than three hours later, this same kid is whining because he or she is bored and has nothing to do. We call this a First World problem, which, according to Dictionary.com, is “a fairly minor problem, frustrating situation, or complaint associated with a relatively high standard of living, as opposed to the more serious problems associated with poverty.”
All we want is for this kiddo to be grateful instead of focusing on the little negative. We’d love for them to realize all we did and went through to provide these gifts for them. We’d love for them to remember how they pleaded with us for these very gifts that now seem to mean nothing to them.
I think we’d all agree this is an issue. An ungrateful heart is what it is. The real tragedy is that even though we, as adults, recognize this issue in our kids, we continue to allow ourselves to struggle with the same issue: an ungrateful heart. Oh, how quickly we forget how much God has provided for us, and we focus on any negative. When things aren’t perfect, how quickly we wish we could go back to old ways, even though we know God sacrificed so much for us to have freedom from those ways. And oh, how quickly we forget how many of our prayers and requests God really has answered when there is still something else out there we would like. I guess we lack perspective like our kids, too.
But wait! According to the Bible, we First World adults are not alone — the Israelites had similar issues and struggles as us. So maybe it isn’t a First World perspective issue. Maybe it’s a God-perspective issue. Maybe we so easily focus on what isn’t there rather than what is. Maybe we focus on what we’d like to still see happen, rather than what has already happened. Maybe our perspective could be shifted if we began with a grateful heart.
So let’s do that. Let’s start our days by giving thanks for all we have. Let’s start our prayers by thanking God for how incredible he is. Let’s rejoice in all he has done, because he truly has done enough already just by sending Jesus to die for us. Our sin cost him a lot, so let’s remember that when we are wanting more. Let’s remember how good he is so we have the right perspective to live out our day.