Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart!
I Thessalonians 5:18 expresses God's explicit will: "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
Simply stated, "It is God's will for you to have a thankful disposition."
What is your disposition?
No, I don't mean what do you wish it were.
What is it?
Are you by nature prone to be optimistic or pessimistic, enthusiastic or depressed, an
encourager or a discourager, an appreciative person or an ingrate, a critic or a constructive individual?
Dispositionally, how do people conceive of you?
Your very disposition can be changed by you resolving to begin being a person who is expressive of appreciation; a person who expresses thanks to God and people.
Our predecessors realized this and set aside a holiday called Thanksgiving.
Out of gratitude to God for His blessings, history records they gathered with newly converted Indians to express thanks to God.
Tragically, many modern American sociology textbooks have rewritten history. One social studies text devotes 30 pages to the Pilgrims, including the first Thanksgiving. Not one word relates to the reality of the religious aspect of the event. The text asserts the first Thanksgiving was when the Pilgrims gathered with the Indians to thank the Indians for their help.
Thanksgiving as a dispositional trait is even more rare than mention of the real meaning of that first Thanksgiving. One of the first things most children are taught is to say "please" and "thank you," yet we have forgotten to do the same to God.
DO YOU LIVE WITH A GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL HEART?
I. The Destruction of Ungratefulness.
A. The Root problems of an ungrateful heart!
1. Unfair Expectations - "you owe me" attitude
2. Discontentment - "it's not enough" dissatisfaction
3. Negative Attitude - "but how about that problem"
4. Haughtiness - "I deserved it" - "I'm worth it"
5. Self-Centeredness - "I'm glad I feel better"
6. Greed - "I wonder if I can get more"
7. Resentment - "He still has more than me"
8. Fear - "I sure don't want to lose this"
9. Deception - "I could have done it better"
10. Rationalization - it probably would have happened anyway
B. The fruits of an ungrateful heart!
1. Disrespect -
2. Demanding spirit -
3. Disloyalty - (divorce, dilenquency, backsliding, job hopping)
4. Depression - you will begin to dislike yourself.
5. Debt - you are driven to obtain.
If you change your disposition and mental attitude to one of giving thanks, it will amaze you and refresh your friends as to what a difference it will make.
When we start to count flowers,
we cease to count WEEDS.
When we start to count blessings,
we cease to count NEEDS.
When we start to count laughter,
we cease to count TEARS,
When we count happy memories,
we cease to count ...
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