Much of what I usually choose to write and speak about centers around some aspect of Godly character. Today is no different. Today I want to talk with you about a character trait I believe is critical to the development of Godly character. Today let’s talk about thankfulness.
So many people today feel entitled rather than thankful. In fact, in the December 12, 2013 edition of USA today there appears an interesting story. A sixteen-year-old boy was arrested and accused of killing four pedestrians while he was driving drunk. His defense? Affluence. Here is how Dr. Gary Buffone, a psychologist, describes this term. This term is used to describe a condition in which children — generally from richer families — have a sense of entitlement, are irresponsible, [and] make excuses for poor behavior… This young man was hoping to receive a lighter punishment because he was so accustomed to doing whatever he pleased that he should not be held accountable for making a poor choice.
Let me contrast this story with that of the life of Abigail Smith. Abigail was a twenty-four year old young woman who, in 2012, was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer. When her doctor gave her the news, he said this, Everyone is dealt a deck of cards. We don’t get to choose the cards, but we do get to choose how we play them. We can either be bitter or thankful. Abby chose thankfulness. She underwent surgery and thirty-seven radiation treatments. Eventually, there was nothing else that could medically stop the cancer from spreading. Abigail was going to die.
You might think that Abigail became bitter or lived hoping for a miracle but here is what Abigail said, Miracles are a temporary fix. They are only a shadow of things to come. I don’t need a miracle to know that God loves me. In a video that documents Abigail’s story, she said, Live one day at a time and live each day to the fullest. Then she said thank you to those who were involved in her life. Abigail chose to be thankful despite living through a year of pain and suffering. Abigail died in December of 2013 still thankful for a remarkable life, for family, friends, and a God who loved her.
So we have a choice. Live suffering from affluence or live joyfully with thanksgiving. I hope you choose thankfulness.