August 12, 2013

Brag and Thank

I wanted to know what the difference between bragging and gratitude was, so I asked around. I was told a braggart swaggers and says -- "Look at ME. What a great person I am. Look what I'VE accomplished."  Bragging totally focuses on oneself.

Counselors uses the word "NARCISSISTIC" to describe a selfish, egotistical person. The word comes from a Greek story of person who was so taken with themselves after noticing their image in a pond that they couldn't bear to leave and became stuck in that spot forever. Out of their remains sprouted a narcissus flower as an everlasting symbol.

So not only does bragging focus on self, it also denies God's blessings. King Nebuchadnezzar, found in the old Testament book of Daniel chapters 4 & 5, discovered he was not so hot. King Nebbie said to himself as he was walking on the roof of the royal palace one day,  "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by MY mighty power and for the glory of MY majesty?" (Daniel 4:30). When he became so egomaniacal, it destroyed his sanity and God allowed his kingdom to be taken away from him. He was driven away from people and had to live with the wild animals and eat grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. His sanity was restored when he raised his eyes to heaven and acknowledged God as sovereign over all.

Gratitude takes our finger off ourselves and redirects it to recognize God as our source. He giveth and he taketh away. Gratitude consists of appreciation and praise. It says "Rejoice with me. Look what God has blessed me with . . . I have found favor in his eyes."

1. Today, I acknowledge God as the source of my creativity. He created me in his image and all my craft ideas ultimately come from him.
2. I'm grateful for the great Physician's healing touch. My mother said I was lucky, but I feel so blest.
3. Even though I felt alone in the hospital, I knew He was with me. I appreciate his Presence!
4.  I’m thankful a young person of our aquaintance named Tommy was able to go on his vacation and travel both ways unharmed.
5. I’m grateful for all my readers and especially those who join me here in grateful comments/praises for the Lord’s blessings!

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"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." (Hebrews 12:28).