A friend of mine couldn’t figure out why she was looking older than her friends of the same age.
She had more wrinkles, marks, flaws, than they did.
Then one day it occurred to her that every day as she applied her makeup she used a well-lit, magnifying mirror.
She saw herself with her flaws magnified, and her friends appeared better and younger in comparison.
A critical, faultfinding attitude is like seeing yourself, others, or your circumstances through that well-lit, magnifying mirror. The bad things are magnified. Soon, all you notice are the bad things.
Recently, God spoke to me from this passage.
Philippians 4:8 (Amplified Bible)
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
He showed me that I was looking at a specific situation in my life through that critical, faultfinding, magnifying mirror.
The cure? Eucharisteo, giving thanks. He spoke to my heart to begin to deliberately turn my focus to the praise worthy things, to begin to take account of them, to fix my mind on them. He spoke to my heart to, apart from my regular gratitude journal, make a separate list of one praiseworthy thing every day about this specific situation. As I began to do this, I felt my heart soften and change, and that’s something to give thanks about too.
my continuing gratitude list #1230-#1243
-an evening bike ride around the neighborhood
-God’s provision for my children and grandchildren to all fly home for a visit next month
-saying no to an unnecessary purchase
-taking the slower, longer way home so I can cross the old covered bridge
-goldfinch perched on a fence
-a wonderful “Jesus date”
-butterflies flitting around me as I weeded and watered in the backyard
-Oldest daughter and her family safely home from their vacation
-the wedding of a sweet young couple in our church
-God uniquely touching the young men in our church
-pizza day, a chance to fellowship
-an evening with youngest granddaughter, taking her to the Winnie the Pooh movie