Be the soil
A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves. (Henry Ward Beecher)
Pride leads to destruction; a proud attitude brings ruin. (Proverbs 16:18)
I have had those moments when I thought I didn't get as much as I deserved - credit where credit was due; thanks for a job well-done; or some form of remuneration. As a young leader, I thought this stuff was important. As I matured a bit, I learned it wasn't all that important - there was a certain sense of joy in just doing a job well, no matter who got the credit, thanks, or 'payment' for it. I have come to realize it is quite a dangerous thing to drift into this pathway of believing we are 'owed' something. If we are to be truthful here, our attitude about why we are doing something is very important.
Proverbs 29:23 reminds us, "Pride will ruin people, but those who are humble will be honored." It is important to have the right attitude behind our actions. Look at what Beecher said - a proud man is seldom a GRATEFUL man. It isn't that we want the gratitude directed towards ourselves - it is that we are grateful to be called upon to do whatever it is we are doing. Grateful for the skills we have been given. Grateful for the time to complete the task. Grateful for the hope or pleasure it will give another. There is no greater honor than to have completed the task and see the work become a means of blessing to another.
Do you know the rest of the quote by Beecher? The full quote is: "Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves." Pride slays thanksgiving - herein is the crux of our study today - gratitude. Do things from a grateful heart and the outcome will be much different. Think less about what you will get from the action and more about how it will be a blessing to another. Become the soil out of which thanks grows. Gratitude is grace in action. Just sayin!