1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God.
I am not much of a cook, but still, grilling is my domain. As I was making the burgers the other day, my wife asked me if I would make them smaller, which I did, with a poor attitude. When she asked a second time, if I could make hers even smaller, I should have said, I love you and I would be happy to make your burger whatever size you want. That is not what I said though. My temper was short and I snapped something mature like, Why don’t you make the burgers next time? I went on to make some angry burgers, smashing the patties into a smaller size.
At the time, in my mind, I was completely justified. Focused only on me and my preferences, I was easily irritated when I had to adapt as things did not go exactly as I thought they should. Only after some time had passed, was I able to see my profound immaturity.
In my focus on self I do not care about right and wrong and I do not care about kindness or love. I only care about how I think the world should be. Then, when I do not get my way, I lash out, like a child, smashing things.
Paul, in today’s passage, provided the answer to this problem of me. It is only in turning my gaze from self to God in all things, that I am able to act rightly. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances . . .
When making the burgers, if I had been of the right mindset, I would have thanked God for my wonderful wife, for our food and for the family for whom I was fixing dinner. In turning my gaze from self to God, I maintain the perspective that allows me to respond rightly. In obsessing with self, I act like an angry child, making angry burgers.