In Paul’s commentary to Timothy regarding the end times, he lists what those perilous days will look like (II Timothy 3:1-5). He says the men will be lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, without natural affection, trucebreakers, lovers of pleasures and so on. And right in the middle of his five verse list, he mentions that folks in the last days will be unthankful.
While I am not sure how close we are to the end of the age, I certainly agree with the indictment that people today are an ungrateful lot! We all tend to be so unappreciative that one of the key phrases used to describe the people of our age is “entitled.” Children feel entitled to all manner of gifts. Entitled employees expect special privileges and acknowledgements. We all anticipate an endless array of opportunities without any accompanying responsibilities. There is no such thing as delayed gratification. All goodies should be afforded us… now!
With our society so focused on “me, mine and my entitlements” it is easy to see how we have become an ungrateful people. However, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are taught to be different. We are enjoined to think and feel differently, to run against the grain of society and in this context, to be a grateful people.
Do you remember the story in Luke 17 about the ten lepers that Jesus healed? After they realized that Christ had healed them all, only one turned back and “with a loud voice glorified God”. Only one stopped and expressed his appreciation for his healing.
The obvious lesson is for us to emulate the one grateful leper. We too need to be intentionally about our gratitude to God for His blessings…all of them! Here is a little check up list to see how your grateful heart is working:
The old song writer says that God lends us breath. Did you stop this morning and thank Him for life itself?
As you ate several times today, did you heed this instruction from Moses, “when you have eaten and are full, you should bless the Lord…”? (Deut 8:10)
As you stepped into your church this week did you enter His courts with thanksgiving? (Ps. 107:22)
All day long, did you make lists and “declare His works with rejoicing”? (Col. 1:12)
We have so much to be grateful for…there are so many ways that God blesses us each and every day. Let’s stop right now and with a loud voice make sure we glorify God with a grateful heart!