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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gratitude vs. Entitlement

Today in church we talked about looking at our lives with the attitude of gratitude instead of an attitude of entitlement.  Nowadays people have such an entitled outlook on everything. 'Well I deserve this new car, I deserve this job, I deserve a big house even though I can't afford it.'  We think that just because we live in this day and age and in a town, city or country that allows, that we deserve everything life has to offer without actually working for or appreciating it.

I was reminded that instead of complaining about the things I think I deserve I need to show gratitude for the things I have and have been blessed with.  I have a job that I actually love right now.  Yes, it's a challenge right now, but I am grateful to have the job.  I complain about many things, probably too many things and it has to stop with me.

I have the ability and agency to choose how I am going to act and react.  No one on this beautiful green earth is forcing me to do or say anything.  I have the choice to be grateful for what I have and to appreciate the friends and family I have been blessed with or I can choose to be ungrateful and complain about the things I think I should have.

Now I know this may sound like a rant, but it is more of an appeal to my better nature to lose the selfish feeling of entitlement and replace it with a deep sense of gratitude.  In the scriptures we read:

20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the athanks and bpraise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and cpreserved you, and has caused that ye should drejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
 21 I say unto you that if ye should aserve him who has created you from the beginning, and is bpreserving you from day to day, by lending you cbreath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own dwill, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your ewhole souls yet ye would be funprofitable servants.
 22 And behold, all that he arequires of you is to bkeep his commandments; and he has cpromised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth dvary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do ekeep his fcommandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
Mosiah 2:20-22

How can I possibly feel entitled to anything when I know that everything I own, that I have worked for and loved has come to me through the grace and blessings of the Lord.  I deserve nothing for I am indebted to the Lord for the very breath I take each moment.  And yet even as we turn to him with a sense of gratitude he pours out the blessings.

So my appeal today is to look at our lives with a sense of gratitude for the things we have and understand that no matter how entitled we feel "he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are adust...But the amercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him...Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord."
Psalms 103:14,17, 22

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