Pas­tor Ge­orge on the im­por­tance of count­ing your bless­ings as the year draws to a close.

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The im­por­tance of count­ing your bless­ings

We are crea­tures of hope – a qual­ity we need so that we can count our bless­ings in life, even when things don’t go your way. We need it not just to sur­vive, but to thrive and blos­som into our full po­ten­tial. The be­gin­ning of a year af­fords us the lux­ury of putting the past be­hind and look­ing ahead to ex­cit­ing and bet­ter days. But, no mat­ter how strongly we hope and re­solve to do, bad things find a way of hap­pen­ing to us, our loved ones and com­mu­ni­ties.


As we draw closer to the end of the year, the odds start to stack up against us – hopes un­ful­filled, dis­ap­point­ments, break-ups, loss of in­come, etc. Be­fore you re­alise it, hope turns into de­spair, and pos­i­tive ex­pec­ta­tions into dark­ness.


Since we can­not im­mu­nise our­selves against bad things, we must de­velop a plan of ac­tion in or­der to beat the odds. The strat­egy is re­vealed in an old hymn ti­tled Count your bless­ings, writ­ten by John­son Oat­man in 1897. The writer pro­posed that if you count your bless­ings rather than ob­sta­cles, you will be sur­prised at how blessed you truly are.


Hu­mans have an in­her­ent weak­ness that is also strength; we can­not fo­cus on two things at once. In spite of hav­ing two eyes, you can­not make one look up and the other down. If you are count­ing your pains or losses, you are tak­ing your bless­ings for granted. Fo­cus­ing on your chal­lenges blinds you to your bless­ings.


You are more blessed than you care to ad­mit. If you are read­ing this, you are blessed with good eye­sight (or read­ing glasses!). Even if you’re be­ing read to, you are blessed to have that per­son in your life, and the abil­ity to hear. Your job may not be the best, but it keeps you one step away from poverty, home­less­ness, etc. By count­ing your bless­ings, you find great joy in the lit­tle and big things.


Choos­ing to fo­cus on your bless­ings will bring you hope, joy and a re­newed strength to keep go­ing un­til change comes.

The re­sul­tant pos­i­tive thoughts and feel­ing will do won­ders for your mood, be­hav­iour, re­la­tion­ships and health.


Do not com­pare your­self neg­a­tively to those who have what you lack. In­stead, imag­ine those who pos­sess less, with far more stacked against them than you will ever know. No mat­ter how badly you think you have it, some­one will give any­thing to have your life.

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