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Monday, November 17, 2014

Hindrances to Becoming like Christ, Part 6: Ungrateful Hearts

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.”
Psalm 107:1 NIV

This is one of many passages that instruct us to THANK God because HE IS GOOD!

As I reflect upon this Thanksgiving season I’m wondering how THANKFUL we are.

I wonder:

Have we forgotten God’s goodness?

Do we overlook His loving provisions?

Are we undervaluing His blessings?

Do we think WE’VE accomplished things without Him?

Have we forgotten that all we have is FROM Him? (I’m not saying we don’t work hard, but everything—even our abilities, strength, jobs, and talents come from Him. Outside of Him we can do nothing)

Are we truly THANKFUL?

It’s hard for me to see grateful hearts as people rush from Halloween straight into Christmas—almost completely bypassing Thanksgiving. Maybe I wouldn’t feel this way if people were rushing to celebrate the birth of Christ, instead of obtaining material goods.

It’s like Thanksgiving is an unwanted and underappreciated holiday.

I can’t help but think that our culture is like this because we’ve forgotten to be GRATEFUL.

As a society we focus so much on what we DON’T have, and what we WANT to have, that we forget to set aside time to be THANKFUL for what we DO have. 

As Christians we shouldn’t need a holiday to remind us to be thankful, but since we do have this holiday, why are we not showing the world what it means to be truly thankful?

As I type this, its 14 days till Thanksgiving, 15 days till BLACK FRIDAY, and already people are lining up outside stores for the “special buys” offered to entice people to spend money they don’t have on stuff they don’t need (this is not a dis on those who do black Friday shopping, so please don’t take it that way).

For 15 days people are going to stand in line for material goods?

I can’t wrap my mind around it.

First, I wonder how they get off work for that long…or if they work. I mean, who can devote that much time to standing in line?

Next, I wonder if they’d stand in line to go to church? 

(To be honest, I’m not sure I’d stand in line that long for either.) 

I also wonder what is so good of a deal that they through the ordeal of standing in line for days on end. Do they really need an item that badly or is it just for “fun”? 

That people do stand in line that long for material goods makes me think we, as a society, are far too focused on material goods.  

So I’m asking you:

Are you already thinking more about Christmas than Thanksgiving?

If so, are you thinking of the birth of our Savior or about buying gifts and/or receiving gifts?

How can you not only be more thankful but show that gratitude to others? 

I can’t help but think that in order for our culture to change, for our kids to learn Gratitude, that the Body of Christ must first learn to GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, FOR HE IS GOOD.

Christians are to be in the world, but not of the world (John 15:19 & 17:14, James 4:4, 1 John 2:15 & 4:5, 1 Cor 5:9-10, 2 Cor 4:18 & 5:6, Eph 2:19, 1 Peter 2:11, Rom 12:2, Psalm 119:19, etc).

That means, we shouldn’t be acting like the rest of the world.

I challenge you to ask yourself where your focus is.

If it’s not aligned with God, I pray you take time to find a grateful heart.

The Bible says a tree is known by its fruit (Luke 6:44-45, Matt 12:44, Proverbs 4:23)

What’s your fruit this holiday season?

Hint: your focus will point you to where your heart is and what type of fruit you're producing. 

Happy Thanksgiving. BTW: I’m grateful to you for reading my blog. See you in Dec.

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