Over at Jim Daly’s blog, he’s got a post up about Dale Carnegie, author of the the bestselling How to Win Friends and Influence People. Specifically, Daly points to another of Carnegie’s books titled How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
In the book, Carnegie gives his seven rules for a more worry-free life. It was Rules #3 and #4 which caught my attention.
Rule #3: Instead of worrying about ingratitude, let’s expect it. Let’s remember that Jesus healed ten lepers in one day-and only one thanked Him. Why should we expect more gratitude than Jesus got?
Rule #4: Count your blessings-not your troubles!
I’ve heard #4 often. We even sang a song about this last Sunday morning. But, in combination with Rule #3, it really struck me.
In essence, Carnegie is saying
Expect ingratitude, but practice gratitude.
I wonder how much of my frustration, worry and general angst is caused by not getting the thanks I think is due to me. I give of my time or money and am not thanked. I serve my family or my church, I am not thanked. I hold open a door, or let a car merge or do any number of things and then am huffy because I didn’t get a thank you or wave or whatever.
But who says I deserve thanks? Yes, thanks are nice. And I believe that I should show my gratitude to others. But maybe I just need to serve, or give, or live with a happy heart because that’s what God commands and not worry about how other people do or do not respond. And maybe the next time I feel the huffiness coming, I need to remember to whom the ultimate thanks is really due.