Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Are You Suffering from S.A.D.?

With Thanksgiving upon us it's the perfect time to examine what we have to be thankful for. As Americans who live in a country where we can worship freely and voice our opinions without fear of retribution, why is it that we are always complaining? I think the we are just down right ungrateful.

What does it mean to be ungrateful? The dictionary says it's being thankless. I feel like we are blind to the the blessings, we always want more I wish I had this or that. Our pastor calls that condition S.A.D. The S stands for stressed, the A for angry and the D for depressed. Look at 2 Timothy 1:3 tells us
"I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers."
If we have poisoned ourselves with S.A.D. Then what we need to do is stop blaming others and make a decision to change our attitude. Yes, it is a choice and it is up to us to stop magnifying the bad. When we put the negative parts of our life under the microscope they get distorted and we are not able to look at the big picture. So many times we say if God would just speak to me, tell me where to go or what to do, well, guess what He is speaking to us. In Ephesians 5:20 He says,
"always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
To give thanks in all circumstances, this is God's will for us. Not just when things are going well, but all the time we are to give thanks. When we focus on God's blessings we will be blessed.
If you don't believe me just look at this study here. Dr. McCollough and Dr. Emmons conducted a study on gratitude. Basically, people were divide up into several groups. One group was instructed to focus on everything that is wrong in the world while another group was instructed to focus on the goodness. The results were outstanding. The gratitude group was less angry, more energetic, determined, joyful, they exercised more and had fewer illness. I think that says a lot for what ails this country, myself include. We are all suffering from Eeyore syndrome. As you know from the old Winnie the Pooh cartoons, Eeyore was always under a cloud of misery. Let us remember that when we choose to live like that we won't be able to see sun shine through.

Have you ever wondered why people who have been raised in some of the worst circumstances rise above all of that? It's because of their outlook on life. The choices that you make not only have an effect on you, but the effect those around you. I want to use this up in coming holiday to focus on the blessings in my life. To have an attitude of gratitude. I think this simple choice will make a big difference in my life, anyone else willing to give it a try?

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“Be the change you want to see in the world.” mahatma gandhi