Week 4: A grateful heart

November 20, 2015

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“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

The Apostle Paul admonished the church at Thessalonica to give God thanks in all circumstances. When one expresses thanksgiving to others, they are offering grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors. When thanksgiving is given to God, it is an expression of gratitude for God’s blessings. The Thanksgiving holiday is a time to remind our readers to live your life full of gratitude for all that God has done in your life. However, if one is not careful, they may allow circumstances to steal away their gratitude and keep them from being grateful. The following are three things that can hinder one from giving thanks:

1. Pride

Pride is the attitude that says “I’ve worked hard for everything I got – nobody gave me anything.” If you are smart or successful, you will take the credit. This type of prideful attitude attributes all of your successes to no one other than you. Pride hinders one from realizing that every good and perfect gift comes from God. (James 1:7).

2. Critical spirit

A person who has a very critical spirit finds it very hard to be grateful and thankful.

A critical spirit causes one to complain constantly, finding fault in everything and everybody. A person with a critical spirit will always find something to complain about. Having a critical spirit hinders one from being thankful and grateful. Paul said believers should do everything without complaining so that no one can criticize you. (Philippians 2:14-15)

3. Impatience

When God does not move fast enough or according to our timetable of how things ought to be occurring in our life, we tend to become impatient and take matters into our own hands. Impatience can lead to complaining even about God not blessing us when we feel it is our time to be blessed. Instead of being thankful, we mumble and grumble about our life and circumstances. If we learn to wait on God and be patient, we can allow God to work out His purposes in our life. Beloved, the bottom line is we must learn to give thanks in every situation. We have been so blessed with so much but yet we give thanks so little. Instead of thinking about how little you have or about how different your life can be if you had this or that; learn to count up what you do have and give God thanks. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and let me take this opportunity to thank you for being avid readers of this column.

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.” – Maya Angelou