The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 7, 2013

What on Earth are we going to do?

Keeping The Faith column

By Bev Davis

— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published March 11, 2008.

I’m tired of all the griping and complaining. I say that having done more than my share of whining over high gas and heating oil prices, rising utility rates and the cost of food.

I hear it everywhere I go. I’m trying to get a new perspective and change my ways.

The Bible speaks of offering “the sacrifice of praise.” I’m not sure I fully understand that, but as harder times come upon us, I wonder if it has to do with praising God and being grateful, even when things aren’t so good.

We say, “Gas has gone up 6 cents this week! What on Earth are we going to do?” How often did we thank the Lord when the price was 6 cents lower?

We whine, “A gallon of milk is almost $4. What on Earth are we going to do?” How often did we thank the Lord when milk was under a dollar a gallon?

Now that we’re facing the reality of tough times, it’s the main topic of conversation. But, 10 years ago, how often did we spend the bulk of our time talking about how GOOD things were?

For me, it comes down to faith in God and respect for His character. I believe God is good, even when things around us look bad. I refuse to believe He took such good care of me all these years, but He’s suddenly going to drop me flat.

What greater affront to His sovereignty than grumbling and complaining? I’ve come to believe God is allowing hard times for OUR benefit.

We’ve become spoiled, ungrateful and we take way too many blessings for granted.

I believe hard times will turn us around. I think we’ll learn to distinguish between our wants and our needs. We’ll learn to set the right priorities. We’ll discover what’s most important in our lives.

Tightening the belt will teach us to be more frugal, less wasteful. We baby boomers who always tell Generation X they don’t know the value of a dollar will learn to use 100 pennies more wisely.

Hard times may help us overcome the tendency to be impulsive spenders. We may learn to invest our paychecks in things that really matter. We may come to value our jobs more and become better bosses and worker bees.

I hope we will learn to be more generous, less greedy. I hope we won’t choose to hoard what money we have instead of giving to those in need.

I challenge you to do likewise. Think about how God feels when you stop praising and start pouting. Nobody likes to listen to the incessant whining of a spoiled brat. Not even Him.

Don’t you think He would much rather hear words of faith that come from a grateful heart?

As prices continue to rise, what on Earth are we going to do?

With God’s help, I pledge to praise God more and take His promises to heart. I’m going to bring Heaven into the picture by learning to offer the sacrifice of praise.

What about you?