Tis the season for people to be thankful and that’s a good thing, I guess. People are posting “a thankful thought per day” on FB and it’s kinda nice. It’s neat to read how God has been good to them and rejoice with them.
But truthfully, thanksgiving is not a November thing, or a Thanksgiving Holiday thing. Thanksgiving is a heart attitude thing and is expected from all believers at all times, in every thing.
I know that I certainly don’t give thanks in all things. I don’t naturally praise God for the flat tire or the late child or the flopped cake or the prickly person. I want to pout instead of praise.
When gratitude dies on the altar of a man’s heart, that man is well-nigh hopeless. ~Bob Jones, Sr
But, when I choose to pout instead of praise, something happens inside of me. I start down a familiar old road: discontentment which leads to complaining. I begin making soft choices and talking to myself:
- Hey, cut yourself some slack. Everyone has a bad day.
- Don’t worry about it. Complaining is nothing compared to other sins.
- Don’t be so uptight about sin. For real. Who do you know who never complains?
But when I make soft choices, and wonder “Did God really mean that?” I am questioning and challenging the authority of God’s word in my life.
After all, if I belong to God, and am bought with a price and redeemed, then He has a say in how I live.
I encountered these verses this morning in one of my favorite Psalms, Psalm 50 where God calls his covenant people to account for two things:
ritualism and empty worship which resulted in
rebellion against God and showed up in their
heartless worship (ritual and externalism) and hypocrisy in their relationships with their own family and neighbors. (Read the Psalm! It’s a great one!)
And tucked into these verses is a common root whenever we fall into sin: Thankless-ness. (Romans 1 talks about this downward path)
The remedy? Instead of performing another ritual, or offering God another sacrifice, God tells us what he wants:
“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High.” (v. 14)
“The one who offers thanksgiving in His sacrifice glorifies me, and to the one who orders his way rightly, I will show the Salvation of God.” (23)
I don’t know about you, but my patterns of behavior are pretty predictable:
I’m think I deserved more or better,
I begin to complain,
Which leads to un-thankfulness,
Which puts me in a prime spot for Satan to attack me on so many levels,
Because all Satan needs for me to believe is that God was not good to me somehow, and he’ll begin his destructive work.
That’s why I need to keep a TIGHT rein on my thought life, and that’s why guarding my own heart is imperative.
God is worthy of all of my thanksgiving and praise and when my heart is right before Him, this comes easy. But when my heart feels entitled to more, I struggle.
God is good, whether the cake rises or not!
How about you? Do you struggle with this as well? Do you talk to yourself and keep yourself in check with Scripture? Does this make you feel like a crazy woman sometimes?
I would love to hear.
In His Grip,