Reflect: Our daughter Ellie is five years old, soon to be six. So, I thought I would start giving her some simple chores to do to earn an allowance. When her brother Anderson saw what we were doing he wanted in too, even though he is just two years old and not quite ready for chores. I made a list of things for Ellie such as cleaning windows and picking up toys and trash from the floor. Anderson’s list wasn’t quite as official. I just asked him to “help” me with vacuuming which means he holds the handle with me and we awkwardly and slowly push the vacuum around the room. I told them that once our chores were done Ellie would earn $5 and Anderson would earn $1. It took us about three days for Ellie to complete her list and the same time for me to come up with new tasks for Anderson. When we were finally done everyone was excited to get paid. So, I pulled out a crisp $5 bill for Ellie and a $1 bill for Anderson. I expected them both to be really happy. Anderson had the same amount of bills as Ellie but she had more value that she could spend. The problem was that Ellie felt cheated. She felt that she had earned more and didn’t get it. She was expecting five separate dollars that she could count, play with and put in her piggy bank and instead she only got the one bill, just like her brother, who she knew had done less.
I think this is how we respond to God’s gifts sometimes. He takes such good care of us and provides things we never could for ourselves but instead of feeling grateful we feel cheated. We talk about how much more we want rather than appreciating the things we’ve been given. We even feel that we’ve earned more when in fact our efforts have most likely been more like my little helper with the vacuum.
I encourage you this week to see God’s provisions for what they are. Take a moment to appreciate the value in the things you have been given.
Recalibrate: Have you ever been ungrateful for a gift because you felt you deserved more?
Respond: Pray for contentment.
Research: Read “Jesus Always” by Sarah Young, page 130 (May 3)