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Serenity Via the Gratitude-Honesty Paradox

DAYS of spiritual torment where our soul screams ‘REST!’ yet we cannot attain it create motivation more than ever to find serenity – tomorrow. Here is one way; a practice for each day:

Find thirty minutes (or ten if you’re that pressed for time) of pure uninterrupted time with God praying contemplations of gratitude.

Simply breath thoughts in and out; the facts-of-state and the facts-of-being you’re grateful for.

Facts-of-state are possessions we have outside ourselves, whereas facts-of-being are possessions within. All these possessions are spiritual, i.e. nothing material in and of itself. Such prayers are pivotal to get our day underway in warding against frustration and complaint.

Then, on the opposite side of the spiritual equation, give yourself another thirty minutes (or ten if you’re that pressed for time) per day to just be honest – where you don’t need to be grateful.

You may find it good to voice these sonnets of truth to another person provided they simply listen. Or, being alone before God, voice them aloud so you can hear yourself saying these things.

The problem I’ve found with seasons of being grateful is that the bubble bursts at inopportune times and I’ve felt rotten that I couldn’t remain complaint free for any length of time. We have about one lengthy season in us, then God makes the sustainment of gratitude harder, because we would get conceited otherwise. Think of Paul’s theology in 2 Corinthians 12.

Balance in the spiritual life is key. Making time to be intentionally grateful is as important as making time to be ruthlessly honest. We need both. And how good is it when we can be grateful and honest at the same time.

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