With Thanksgiving just a couple days away, I thought I’d share a few reasons why I might be ungrateful sometimes. I hope you don’t find yourself in any of these mindsets either.
This should not be a surprise to anyone with pride being the root of all sin. Pride can rear it’s ugly head with a mindset that I somehow deserve what’s been done for me. By not giving thanks for a kindness shown, I reveal that in my heart of hearts, I somehow feel it beneath me to show gratitude.
Look at what Paul says to the people at Corinth:
For who regards you as superior or what sets you apart as special? What do you have that you did not receive [from another]? And if in fact you received it [from God or someone else], why do you boast as if you had not received it [but had gained it by yourself]? 1 Corinthians 4:7 AMP
The fact of the matter is that all I have came from another or has been ultimately granted by God and His merciful grace toward me. When I fail to give thanks, I am yielding to the oldest sin in history: pride.
Often I can find myself struggling with an ungrateful heart when I feel that I didn’t get what I wanted. Therefore why be thankful? Suffering from a heart that complains more about what I don’t have as opposed to all I do have can leave the bitter taste of ingratitude on my tongue. The Rolling Stones sang; “I can’t get no satisfaction” and sometimes I can suffer from this mentality.
Regardless of me getting exactly what I want, I must learn contentment with whatever I have. Whatever I have, whether it seems good to me or not, has been what God has seen fit for me. Paul puts it this way in Philippians 4:11
Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances. Philippians 4:11 AMP
And look at 1 Timothy 6:8
But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 1 Timothy 6:8 AMP
Dissatisfaction is the result of a ungrateful heart.
The final issue that leads me to a sense of ingratitude is plain out carelessness. Whether I just don’t like what was done for me or I get so consumed with some distraction, I can find myself wrapped in carelessness.
Insensitivity to the labor, cost, time, or any other factor constituting a heartfelt act of kindness is not only careless but inexcusable. People can do many things for me and it could be easy to ignore the “price” or play off the kindness with a quick “thanks”. Being careful to say thanks and show appreciation is a quality I definitely want as a defining characteristic.
Failure to take the ample time to show appreciation and gratitude is the ultimate act of self-absorption and ingratitude. Paul says it like this in 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus”. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMP
Don’t be careless this Thanksgiving. Be careful to give thanks in all things. Take time to show gratitude to others and ultimately to God. Humble yourself and let the “thanks” flow. That’s what I’ll be working on this this week. What about you? What causes you to be ungrateful?