Tag Archives: gratitude

gratitude vs. resentment

A follow-up to my previous post on gratitude – I’m finishing up an ‘Ethics of Bonhoeffer’ class.  We’re reading his Letters and Papers from Prison. (He was imprisoned for being a part of a conspiracy to bring down Hitler, and was executed just two weeks before the Allies reached his location.)  It’s been a very thought-provoking read – him writing to his family, friends, and fiancee.  He writes of life in prison, theological musings, and how much he misses them.

In a lecture, Dr. Stassen mentioned the work of Melanie Klein.  She said: we have in ourselves both gratitude and resentment.  The more gratitude we have, the less resentment.  Bonhoeffer certainly had a lot of gratitude and was able to keep the resentment at bay.  I’ve really enjoyed reading his work, and after the class is over I want to read a biography of him.  Anyone got suggestions of which one?


gratitude brings her own gifts.


I checked back in on my blog recently and got the ‘wordpress annual report’ which is meant to be encouraging, but showed me how little I wrote last year.  Yikes!  

I thought today was just an ‘ok’ or ‘meh’ day – and thought I would write this first post ironically about what a glamorous workday I had.  But as I was thinking, I realized that today was actually a great in terms of ministry – and while maybe not glamorous, I need to be grateful for what it was.

So for those who have wondered what I do…

  • Yesterday we had a staff team meeting with 12 of my staff to debrief Urbana, and start thinking about this winter quarter. Today I followed up on some of yesterday’s content, and also got back to some staff on important planning items in terms of campus strategies.  God did great things at Urbana, and there is more to come.
  • I spent an hour on the phone with a colleague debriefing some leadership lessons and brainstorming ways to grow the partnership team for our ministry in the Silicon Valley.  My leadership got sharpened!
  • On another phone call, I did some work on big-picture themes for our entire region.  My vision was expanded as I started to dream about what God might do in our region.
  • I wrote up our proposed plant at De Anza College and highlighted my staff’s strengths and the excitement we have about starting an InterVarsity fellowship there.  As I wrote, my heart got excited to love students we haven’t even met yet.
  • And tonight, I translated ten verses of Romans for my Greek exegesis class that just started.  My brain is tired – my Greek is pretty rusty since I took Greek over a year ago. But I feel so grateful to have the tools and ability to study.  


Yes, there are lots of other things that had to be done today, and still many more that await.    But taking the time to reflect even just briefly has changed the way I feel about the day.  I hope that in a moment of reflection that you find hidden (or not so hidden) gifts that were in your day too!