Gratitude or entitlement, which are you teaching?

In today’s post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Pastor Fred shared this Thanksgiving prayer sent to him by one of his followers –

“Put gratitude in your attitude!”  (Sent by Carol Retan)

A suggested Thanksgiving Table Prayer for you to use:

For food in a world where many walk in hunger,

For faith in a world where many walk in fear,

For friends in a world where many walk alone,

We offer our humble gratitude, O Lord.  AMEN

In our society, many seem to have moved away from being thankful for what they have to a selfish attitude of entitlement. Perhaps much of that results from our tendency to try to give our children all of the things that we might not have had. While that seems like a worthy goal on the surface, it may actually be an attempt to enjoy life through our children and it teaches them the wrong lesson. There is very little “value” associated with things that we don’t have to work for to achieve, and that is true for our children, too.

A recent survey found that the majority of parents say that their children are not thankful for all of the things that they’ve been given. Well, DUH! If they didn’t have to do anything to get those things, how are they supposed to assign a value to them and be thankful for them. We have created generations of young people who feel entitled to everything, rather than grateful for what they have.

So, what are we to do? It’s never to late to start teaching the right things and gratitude is certainly one of those things. Insisting that children write a letter/card or call those who give them things to say Thank You, is a start. Don’t allow just a text message or a post on Instagram to suffice. When children achieve a goal or have a major accomplishment, they should be encouraged to thankful to any and all who may have helped them, and they should thank God for giving them the patience and perseverance to prevail.

Gratitude is based upon humility, whereas entitlement is based upon hubris. Which are you teaching your children?

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