Articles Reb 22 (1)

Published on May 2nd, 2017 | by Olivia Scott

Practice Thankfulness, Not Complaining





I don’t know about you, but I love the feeling of a clean room.

It’s so nice to have things organized and for my space to be clutter-free. However, it’s always been difficult for me to keep it clean.

My room has, unfortunately, looked like a tornado more than a couple of times. My sixteen year old brother, Preston, however…

He’s kind of the resident “clean-freak” at our house. He actually enjoys cleaning…for fun.

A little strange, I know. He’s pretty amazing when it comes to organization, cleaning, and keeping things clean. It’s a huge help and blessing.

…Except when you’re too busy being mad that he messed with your stuff.  

The following story is not fictional, but rather a real-life event that happened only last year.

An “Unpleasant” Surprise

It was a quiet night and it was one of those days when my room was in “tornado mode” again. With my room out of sight (and therefore, out of mind), I sat at my family’s dining room table, working on a project for my mom. After a couple hours or so, I was finishing up and Preston came downstairs, walking towards the table.

He smiled suspiciously at me and I could tell he was up to something. My suspicions were confirmed. “Want to see what I’ve been working on for the last couple hours?” he gleefully asked. I said that I did and followed him back up the stairs.

When we were at the top, I realized something was seriously wrong. The lights in my room were on. The door was wide open. Oh no, I thought, as we rounded the corner. It can’t be.

My room was beautifully clean and organized. I was shocked. I could see Preston out of the corner of my eye excitedly awaiting my reaction.

Here was my younger, teenage brother who had just spent all of this time making my room look better than presentable… without me asking or bribing him. I should’ve been incredibly grateful.

I should have been… but in that moment, I wasn’t. At all.

In fact, I exploded. All I could think was, How dare he come into my room, touch my things, and move them around without asking. My attitude was definitely not pretty.

Talk about the phrase “missing the forest for the trees” being put into action, right?

Thankfulness is Key

You would think that I would learn my lesson after that one time, but almost the exact same situation happened again more about a month later. Turns out that I was the strange one.

And yet, on a good note, I did learn a lesson through both of those situations: often times, it’s easy to focus on everything that’s “wrong” with a situation instead of focusing on what’s right and being thankful and grateful to God for those things. If you pay attention to the wrong things, you might just miss a blessing.

Thankfulness is a core part of our lives as followers of Jesus.

Colossians 2:6-7 says,

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving [emphasis mine].”

So we’re supposed to be “abounding in thanksgiving”? Or as other translations may say, “overflowing”? And as 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”?

Wow. That’s pretty convicting.

But let’s not walk away, being convicted, and then not do anything about it. I know that, I for one, need to make some adjustments.

When you’re tempted to say, “Ugh, the drive-thru workers messed up my order,” say, “Thank you so much, God, that I have food to eat!” When you’re doing chores, instead of complaining and talking back to your parents, thank God for the joy of work and that He’s teaching you through those moments. Thank Him for the simple joys of life like having a roof over your head, good friends, a sunset, parents that love you, built-in potential friends (siblings), music, books to read, animals to play with, clean water to drink, a healthy body, and most of all, a relationship with Jesus.

The list could go on and on.

It says in James 1:17 that,

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Let’s start looking for those gifts that God gives us each day and then thanking Him for them.

What are some things that you can thank God for today?


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About the Author

is eighteen years old, the oldest of five children (she has four younger bros… and adores them all), a homeschool grad, and most of all, a lover and follower of Jesus. She loves to bring Him glory through singing and writing worship songs, whether playing them on her uke, guitar, or piano (what can she say… she’s lived in Nashville her whole life) and through her writing.



  • Jason_ComicWriter

    Great article! This kind of reminds me about how I should be thankful for things that are taken for granted, and also to thank my parents for their efforts. One way I like to show thankfulness is to give a simple “Thank you” to the bus driver every time I get off the bus (it’s school, after all).

    • Thank you, @jason_comicwriter:disqus! I’m glad you enjoyed it. :) That’s great!
      -Olivia

  • KatelynS

    Olivia, this was a great article!! Thanks for the reminder!

  • Michael

    Amazing article!

  • Josiah J.

    I absolutely love this article! It’s so easy to relate to. Gratefulness takes effort and is often overshadowed by selfish desires for independence and the typical mood swings that most (all) of us go through.

    Gratefulness is something that is truly left wanting in this generation (including myself…). But, growth often takes time and effort in the Word, and it takes that ever so needed willingness to humble ourselves before God and others.

    Thank you, Olivia, for a wonderful and convicting article!

    • @disqus_v7zgvL3EXD:disqus Thank you so much, Josiah! I’m so happy that you found it helpful!

      You’re absolutely right about gratefulness taking effort and I like what you said, “But, growth often takes time and effort in the Word, and it takes that ever so needed willingness to humble ourselves before God and others.” So true!

      Thanks again for reading! :)

      -Olivia

  • All Is On Grace

    Thanks, Olivia! I really enjoyed your article. I can totally relate. I get so frustrated at my little brother for doing my job, when I should be thankful.

    I also have been using the advice you gave about being thankful for what you have, even if it’s not going your way. I have been trying to remember that the past few days. :)

    Thanks so much!

    • All Is On Grace

      P.S. I know exactly what you mean by a tornado going through your room. It drives my mom nuts. 😛

      • @all_is_on_grace:disqus Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and so thankful (pun-slightly-intended? Haha) that you found it helpful. That’s so awesome that you’ve been practicing thankfulness! It definitely takes a special effort to remember all that we really do have to be thankful to God for. Keep at it, friend! :)

        Thanks for commenting!

        -Olivia

        • All Is On Grace

          Thanks for the encouragement! I try to write in my journal at least two things I’m thankful for when I get the chance. It helps me to remember to always give thanks.
          -Allison

  • Super encouraging, Olivia!

    • @disqus_8Tzn08gHi3:disqus Thank you so much, Hailey! I’m so glad it encouraged you!

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