Thankfulness and happiness

There are times when we compare what others have and become jealous and envious, this causes unhappiness.

There is a story of a washerman and a potter.  The washerman was doing very good business, but the potter was jealous of him. To spoil his business, he somehow managed to convince the emperor that the washerman has to wash the emperors’ black elephant and make it white.

The emperor called for the washerman. The washerman promised to do the job only on one condition. He said that the potter should provide a large clay vessel in which the elephant should be washed. The emperor called for the potter. The potter prepared a large clay vessel every day, but every time the elephant stepped into the vessel, the vesselcracked into pieces.

The potter ended in losses. The washerman prospered.

The Lord Jesus teaches us never to be jealous and envious. We must be thankful for what we have and not compare with what God has given others. There is greater joy in thinking of what others do not have and providing for their needs. There was an old man who went door to door selling vegetables.

He often knocked the door of a wealthy couple to sell vegetables. The couple one day realized that the man was partially blind and also very poor.

He wore odd shoes that looked very shabby.

He lived just down the lane. They quietly dropped a bag of shoes late night at his door.
Two days later, the old man knocked at the couple’s door, smiling, he said “Sir, I am thankful to God.  He has been so good to me.

“Someone dropped a bag full of shoes at my door two days ago”.

The old man continued “Sir, I’m even more thankful to God for one more thing. He showed me poor people who never had shoes on their feet and I gave away these shoes to them”.

The Bible calls us to be thankful for all that we are already blessed with and not to be jealous of others.

A parable in the Bible points to a landowner who hired laborers for his vineyard at different times during the day. But he paid the wages as promised to each laborer.

But some of them argued that the one who worked the least hours was paid the same wages. The landowner made a point saying “I have done injustice to nobody.  I paid what I promised”. The message was to ‘be thankful for what you have.’  You become unhappy when you compare what others get.

In the old Anglo-Saxon English, ‘thinking and thanking’ meant the same. When you think of what God has blessed you with, you become thankful. You never become jealous of what others have.

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