“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” 1 Thes. 5:16-18

If you are on Twitter, you may have seen the the #firstworldproblems hashtag. It’s basically people complaining about things that are only problems in First World countries, which are trivial compared to the actual struggles faced by the world’s poor.

I had one of those moments this week, after the “this is finally it because we’ve replaced every part” fix my husband had performed on my car’s air conditioner failed. Summer hasn’t gotten started yet here in the Deep South, and I was without air – again. I was discouraged to the point of tears, and complained to several people, including my 11-year-old daughter.

Later that evening, I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I was certainly not giving thanks in all circumstances. The car ran. My family is healthy and safe, and we have people who care about us. We have a roof over our heads and plenty to eat, something many only dream of.

I asked God for forgiveness, and confessed to my daughter that I was wrong. Her reply?  “Mom, all you really need is a car that works. Period.” I’m glad her perspective is better than mine sometimes!

The next time you encounter #firstworldproblems, ask God for His take on things. Take a step back and count your blessings. It’s the way He wants us to live, and it’s a good way to stop seeds of discontent from sprouting in our hearts.