Gratitude: a proper attitude toward negatives

posted in: happiness 11

When I read the biography of Francis Schaeffer, the author referenced True Spirituality as Francis Schaeffer’s most refined statement of his message: that the Bible is True in all of life and makes a difference in everything we think and decide, not in a legalistic or moralistic way, but in a personal and spiritual way.

It is an excellent book. Because it is written more in a conversational style than an academic, I’d think it would make a good choice for an audio book, especially since Schaeffer’s conversational style is rather idiosyncratic in places.

What do we pray for?

Is it not true that our thoughts, our prayers for ourselves and those we love, and our conversation is almost entirely aimed at getting rid of the negative at any cost – rather than praying that the negatives might be faced in the proper attitude?

Ouch. It is so true. Rather than praying for the patience, love, faithfulness – you know, the fruit of the Spirit God actually wants us to have – to deal with life as God is sending it, we usually pray that God will change the life He’s sending to make it easier and nicer.

But God’s will for us is our sanctification, not our comfort.

[True spirituality is] to love Him enough in the present world to say ‘Thank you’ in all the ebb and flow of life.

That is, love and trust God’s providential care enough to be thankful even for the hard and difficult and annoying and grating bits. This is easy to affirm and demanding to live out. It is the path of sanctification.

[True spirituality is] to love Him enough in the present world to say 'Thank you' in all the ebb and flow of life. – Francis Schaeffer

My Book Bag

FYI: The Man Who Knew Too Much was an Audible whispersync deal snag.

Get more great quotes & recommendations at ladydusk’s Wednesday with Words!

11 Responses

  1. Meredith_in_Aus
    | Reply

    Funny, I have A Pelican at Blandings on my bedside table.

    Must finish it. I got distracted.


  2. Kortney Garrison
    | Reply

    I’m almost done with Better than Before. I love Gretchen Rubin…in small doses! I wonder what you think of her ideas in relation to MBTI…

    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply

      Yes, she has an interesting perspective. I do like how self-analytical she is. :)

      Does she have stuff on MBTI? I have read her books but not followed her blog. She evades MBTI while still talking about personality in her books. I have been guessing she’s an ISTJ.

  3. Leanne
    | Reply

    Ouch! Thanks!!!

  4. Just curious, what do you think about The Story of Science so far? Also, I notice you have The Man Who Knew Too Much in your book bag. Have you seen the movie based on the book that stars James Stewart and Doris Day? It’s pretty good. :)

    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply

      I like it so far. It’s a history-based approach to science rather than a presentation of science simply, and I prefer that approach. She says in the introduction that science is the quest of people to understand the world, and so this is an account in chronological order of man’s attempts. I think that approach leads to a more open mind as far as current and future science. The traditional textbook approach leads us to assume what the textbook says is True, when it is actually full of speculation and “to the best of our current knowledge.” I didn’t even realize that myself until I started reading aloud books like The Mystery of the Periodic Table and realizing how little we knew not long ago – and if that’s the case, might it not be the case that much of what we think we know now is also incorrect or at least incomplete? So why teach it as truth? Teaching science as something that is discovered throughout history should help moderate the Science as Religion attitude of our culture, I think.

      The first chapter does start with the obligatory old-earth story, and she incorporates myths and poetry into the work – not everyone can stomach it, but we can. :) Plus, I am assigning a chapter a week, and then we have time blocked off to talk about it at the end of the week. As I preread, I’m composing a “should” question to discuss during our time.

  5. GaryP
    | Reply

    “God’s will for us is our sanctification, not our comfort.”

    Ouch is right! I am not sure I have read True Spirituality. Now I need to go downstairs to see if I have it (I think I have a 25 year old copy on the shelves) and read it.

    Much of what you write here could be reworked into a post about “What is God’s will for my life.”

    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply

      Do you remember Russ’ talk at Geoff’s graduation party on God’s will? I wish I had a copy of that; it was so good. :) Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something gives the same exhortation (you’d love it if you haven’t read it yet).

      Don’t you have that complete Schaeffer set that’s like a rainbow? My copy is over 30 years old (great 70s collage on the front), but it’s only been on my shelf for 3 years. Not bad. :)

  6. Carol
    | Reply

    Sanctification is something I never appreciate or even recognise at the time but am always thankful for in retrospect.

  7. Lisa
    | Reply

    I would like to know more about better than before. I don’t know what Mbti etc means.

  8. dawn
    | Reply

    I’ve been thinking about this off and on for a while, how God uses our trials for our sanctification. I like the connection you make with the fruit of the Spirit and rather than removing obstacles the Lord using them to strengthen and refine. Thanks for sharing.

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