Gratitude makes you rich.
(Ecclesiastes 6:9, Luke 17:11-18, James 1:17)
It works the same for a family in Mozambique which lives in a mud hut, doesn’t eat much more than rice or shima (corn flour with water), most often with chicken spice than chicken or money to pay for electricity and for a wealthy family in Europe which can’t afford to buy a bigger house or a new car. God’s Word is true everywhere, in all circumstances. And for everyone.
That morning, being ready to teach about gratitude for what we have, I found myself struggling with a choice of earrings, which would fit to my dress. A choice from 30 pairs. This simple fact made me feel even more unsure. Because how to tell children who have so little comparing to those from western countries, that attitude of being thankful is a key? No matter what you have.
Because being rich isn’t about money or what we can have. Contrariwise, how it is with God very often. He is more interested in our heart and its condition what is measured by motives than a result seen in our life. On what we are focused so often.
Being reach starts in the heart. Being rich starts from being grateful and understand that every good gift and every good action is from God. Being rich depends on the perspective we have.
It was so good to see boys focusing on what they have and giving thanks to Jesus for that. It was so good to see how they were becoming rich and happy when they have been noticing in theirs little lives!
When I was in their age I had much more than they have and I wasn’t thankful. I was a child who saw what others have: a stroller for dolls, lego bricks, a scooter. I remember once I wanted my mom to buy me a bar of chocolate. She told that we have no money for that. I remember it so clearly cuz I felt my lack so clearly. I can’t imagine how it is to be hungry and I am so far from telling that I understand it because I have no idea how it is. But still, I believe that the Word of God is true everywhere. And for everyone.
We all need to remember about being focus on what we have and keep our heart grateful. It so easy to lose this focus and see clearly what we don’t have. And there is always something we can miss. Actually, our lack has no limits. It can be so huge as we allow it to be. Even a very wealthy person which focuses on what he doesn’t have can be poorer than this little Mozambican boy who eats rice & beans once a day.
We all need to practice gratitude every day. One week we, the boys and couple of adults, were wearing twine bracelets. To focus on what we have. To stay thankful. To see that there is always enough. To be rich and happy. To enjoy our journey with Jesus no matter what circumstances are.
Two days after that bible lesson I wrote: There was no water in the base yesterday. Today is about to end. Last evening I had a bottle shower. You are sticky very quick after taking a shower with 2 liters of water. You can lose your patience equally quick. Instead, I practice gratitude. And gratitude makes me happy.
So it is better to be happy with what you have than always to be wanting more. Always wanting more is useless – like chasing the wind.
(Ecclesiastes 6:9, ICB)
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him – and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.