Focusing on what you have will make you more grateful than focusing on what you don’t have.
I’m sure you’ve been around (and chuckled at) a child that this has happened to.
Take my daughter, for instance. She can be happily playing at the park munching on her apple thinking it’s the perfect treat. Suddenly, another child comes into her periphery with a cupcake topped high with chocolate frosting and sprinkles near his mouth. The apple becomes not enough.
“Mommy,” she says running over to me a little excited “I want a cupcake!”
When my response is, “No, not now. You have an apple. It’s yummy, eat that!” her voice gets a whiny edge to it. “No, I don’t want it. I don’t like apples. The cupcake is better.”
All of the adults standing by understand what’s going on and chuckle, knowing that she was loving the apple seconds earlier.
How much harder it is for us to see those same tendencies in our own lives as adults.
Looking at the social life and activities of my friends make me no longer content with spending a lot of time at home. All of a sudden I want to sign up for this activity and that and host parties every weekend.
I have a lovely first home. It even has 2 bathrooms and meets the needs of our family wonderfully. Then I might go to small group at a home with a more open floor plan and bigger yard more suited for entertaining. My home isn’t so great anymore.
Maybe it is my vehicle. Sure it’s not new, but it runs well and we can cram a lot of baby gear into the back. It meets our needs perfectly. Or it does until our neighbor drives up in a slightly newer and larger SUV.
My husband and kids are great until I compare them to the one that always seem considerate and the ones that listen so well you are sure the mom never has to worry about them misbehaving in public.
Comparison steals my ability to enjoy what I have.
I am no longer content and satisfied.
I no longer have gratitude for the multitude of things, way of living, and personality that God has blessed me with. Instead I find myself wishing my family was different and unsatisfied with my (perfectly good) belongings and financial status.
As Crystal Paine says,
“Comparison only leads to discontentment.”
My voice becomes whiny. What I have is no longer enough. It’s no longer good enough. Just like my daughter and her apple.
That’s not okay!
If instead I look at the home, car, family, life, personality, and opportunities that I have right now and realize that I have been given so much and not focus on what those around me have, I stay content.
Thankfulness and gratitude are then easy to come by.
Let’s keep our focus on what we have, instead of what others have.
Linking up to these fun parties!