Have you ever wanted to just shout at someone, “GET OVER YOURSELF!”

That person at work … on Facebook … in your family … that is constantly complaining and whining about the problems in their life.  Everything is a trial, every story is accompanied by a moan and heavy sigh.  You know their life is pretty darn easy (especially when compared to yours) but they still need to vent about all the trials and upheaval in their life.  They think they deserve your sympathy 24/7.

I came across a quote recently from the playwright George Bernard Shaw that inspired me and made me think.

“This is true joy in life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

Often we act as if we are entitled to happiness; that we are the star of this life, and everyone else is merely a supporting player, whose role is to make us look good and meet our needs.   What a self-centered outlook and attitude!  And all this attitude gets us is frustration and hurt.  It feeds into our need for constant gratification, and satisfies our need for constant drama when things don’t go according to our own plans.

“Oh, how heartless and cruel everyone is – they aren’t paying enough attention to ME and MY troubles!”

We lack gratitude in our lives.  Gone is the ability to be grateful for what we have; to see and appreciate our blessings and gifts.  So we shift into Drama Queen mode, and bemoan our sorry lives and circumstances.  We are looking only at the “lack of” when we need to look instead at the “abundance of.”  Our attitude needs an overhaul.

We need to develop an attitude of gratitude.

Ya wanna know the best way to “get over yourself”?  Involve yourself in a project that benefits someone else.  Look beyond your own life, and start to invest in someone else’s life.  There are so many people with needs and struggles bigger than your own.  It sounds trite, I know, but it’s true.  There is always someone in a worse situation than you find yourself right now.  At the very least, you can look at their situation, count your blessings and feel a little gratitude.

Isn’t it even better to roll up your sleeves and find a way to help?

God has been using the past events in my life to teach me gratitude and to appreciate all that He has given me.  I am able to see there are so many ways to help someone else.  Instead of moaning and grousing about my situation, lack of spouse and lack of job, I feel so much better when I am able to help someone else struggling in the midst of a crisis.  I am able to use what I have learned and/or experienced to help give them some hope that “this, too, shall pass.”

I admit our afflictions in this life certainly don’t FEEL “light and momentary.”  Sometimes they are downright heavy and continuous.  But they are indeed going to come to an end at some point.

“I think we naturally assume that if we look out for our own interests and concerns, we will be happy.  But people who sacrifice for others will tell you that seasons of giving are the most rewarding of their lives.” – Francis Chan, Crazy Love

Gratitude leads to giving

There is joy that is found in giving freely to someone else.  And it lasts longer and goes deeper than any joy we feel from indulging ourselves.  There is something about giving to someone else that nourishes our soul; whether it’s giving our time, our wisdom, our money, our creativity … it’s the act of giving something of ourselves to benefit another person that truly matters.

What can you do today?  Is there someone in need that I can help?  What gift has God given you to share with someone else?

Here are a couple more blog posts about giving:  Mission of Hope – Under the BridgeHow Giving Can Inspire You,  and National “Roof Over Your Head” Day

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