Keep on Swimming. . .

everyday life inside the fishbowl

Worthy Word Wednesday: Barriers to Gratitude

on November 6, 2013

I have been reading through passages in Scripture that talk about thanks or thanksgiving this month in order to saturate my mind with what thanksgiving really is and looks like. This has been so good for me. I am being reminded that our circumstances should not affect our thanksgiving, because much of thanksgiving in Scripture is about who God is–and he never changes!

Last summer, a friend let me borrow a book called Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. This was such a good book for me. It is one I highly recommend, and one I will most likely read again. Especially helpful are the study questions at the end of each chapter–opportunities to meditate on what you’ve read.

As I was looking through my notes, I came across a list I had copied down of 4 things that cause ingratitude, and I thought I’d share:

1. Unrealistic expectations: “Rather than being grateful for God’s unchanging love and His faithfulness in meeting our needs. . . unfulfilled expectations easily turn to resentment that poisons our heart and relationships (p. 53).

2. Forgetfulness: “To forget is. . . to invite ingratitude” (p. 55-note the many times people are said to have forgotten God or what he has done in Deuteronomy or Psalms and how many times God tells us to remember; this is a study I’d like to do in the future).

3. Entitlement: “When we take simple blessings for granted as if they were owed to us” (p. 55).

4. Comparison: “It is every bit as dangerous and deceptive for us to focus on the many sacrifices we’re making, the hard work we’re performing, the extra hours we’re putting in. . . . We lose our appreciation for . . . [others] when we constantly view them through our own shadow” (p. 56).

She ends with a prayer that echoes my own heart:

Oh Lord, please forgive me for so often being forgetful of Your goodness, for acting as if I deserve anything more (or different) than what I have received, for sinfully comparing myself and my blessings with others’, for being oblivious to so many expressions of your grace, and for allowing roots of pride and ingratitude to grow up in my heart.

Forgive me for the many times and ways I reflect negatively on Your character and Your goodness, by verbalizing discontent and murmuring to others.

Grant me a spirit of true repentance and a heart that is always abounding, over-flowing in gratitude toward You and others (p. 58).

{On Wednesdays, I share from a book, blog, or other resource some “worthy words.” I love to read, but my time for reading has been much decreased since the birth of my first child. I am encouraged when I am able to read snippets of precious truth as I come across them. Hopefully these few words will encourage your heart, as well as give you a resource for fuller reading as your time allows.}



One response to “Worthy Word Wednesday: Barriers to Gratitude

  1. Linda Huffstutler says:

    Amen. Good reminder. My challenge is for obedience to the admonition of the apostle Paul…”Give thanks in all things”……ALL things, not just the blessings, but the trials, too

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