For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:16 (NIV)

Most of us know what PMS, ADD, SARS and AIDS stand for. Now there’s GDD – gratitude deficit disorder. In recent years this disorder has become a highly contagious behaviour to which more and more people are succumbing. The symptoms are easy to detect. If you’re ungrateful, unappreciative or projecting an attitude of ingratitude then you’ve got a case of GDD. James 3:16 describes it in these words, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”

Fortunately it’s not difficult to treat GDD:

Begin by admitting that you’re disgruntled or dissatisfied.

This should be followed by a recognition of your tendency to see the cup half-empty instead of half full. Identify any inclination to judge the flaws of others or any reluctance to applaud someone else’s achievements.

Then, acknowledge your dependency on God. Ask Him to help you suppress negative reactions and to see His provision instead. It’s a matter of perspective. You need to view the brighter side of things by trusting God to help you accentuate the positive and ignore the negative. It might even be worthwhile to take an inventory of all the blessings God has poured into your life. List everything that deserves recognition by starting with the small stuff then moving onto the bigger stuff.

Finally, cultivate a thankful spirit. Practice appreciation. Aim to make “thank you” one of the most common phrases in your vocabulary. Use these two words as frequently as possible and add emphasis to them by topping them off with a smile, a handshake, a note of gratitude, a hug, a kiss, a high five, or whatever’s appropriate for the situation.

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