I was listening to Petra on the way to work today and their song “Thankful Heart” came on. Now keep in mind, as I am driving, I am dreading going to work. I’m not feeling too thankful to be heading into work.
Let me just tell you, conviction is painful.
Acts 8:23 – For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.
A few months ago I sold my company and went to work for the people who purchased it. I went to work for them under the auspices of helping them get off the ground. As an award-winning recruiter and business development manager, I thought it would be great to help.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been happening. I was told flat out that I didn’t know what I was doing. The new owner brought on a new partner to help him propel forward because he believed I hadn’t been doing well (even though I have already booked more than my targets). The amount of lies and four-letter language and downright verbal abuse from the partners has been difficult to stomach, especially on the rest of the team, some of which came from my former business.
It has led to cynicism breeding in my heart.
As the older and wiser one of the group of recruiters, I find myself doing what I can to be an example, but then I find it easy to slip into cynicism and speak poorly of the partners.
Thankful is not what I am for this opportunity.
So as I was driving to work today, this song comes on and I find myself singing it.
After it finished, I felt like such a hypocrite.
I wasn’t thankful. I didn’t have a thankful heart.
I was vindictive and had a bitter heart.
Ephesians 4:31 – Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
And then it gets even more convicting.
I speak to a person today who’s restaurant had closed down and he was out of work. He is young and his wife is about to have a baby in 3 weeks. He was laid off a few weeks ago.
In desperation, he calls me back and gives me his story.
Almost to the point of tears, he explains that he can’t afford to have a child right now. They have very little income and no one seems to want to hire him.
I started to think about my situation.
Yes, this employment is not ideal, but it is employment.
Then, as he is talking, the conviction digs deeper.
I learn he is a bivocational youth pastor.
And then he says those words that cut deep to my core, “I know that this is just a season, and I am thankful for the experiences I have had in the past so I just trust that God has led me to you to help me find that next opportunity.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Here I am making a decent living and, yes, the people are flat out evil, but I am able to pay the bills and even save some money. All this while others out there are starting a family and have been laid off with no other opportunities for work or money to come in.
So now I sit in my more than comfortable home after eating a very filling meal. I am watching too many channels on the television while I write this post on a newer model laptop. I am laying in a comfortable bed which I am able to change the sheets on regularly, under a ceiling fan while the air conditioner runs. I have a lot of fun things planned for the weekend and am able to spend a great deal of time with my family.
I am cynical and bitter.
Meanwhile the person who called me said he wouldn’t be doing anything this weekend, hoping to even have enough to buy food for his family.
Yet he is thankful.
I pray to God that I will view my circumstance for what it is, a blessing.
Is it easy?
Are the people decent and able to get along with others?
But I am blessed.
And realize my hypocrisy and evil tendencies in myself.
Next week is another week. And it is for you too.
Are you bitter and cynical? Are you feeling like you are trapped in a dead end with no way out, yet are able to make ends meet? Are you allowing your first world problems to take control of your life?
Then listen to the wisdom I have learned and be thankful.
Look for the blessings in your life, not the negatives.
Meditate on them.
Allow God to do what He does best, convict those who are doing wrong, and you simply do what God wants us to do, be thankful for the grace we are given.
Psalm 106:1 – Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!