Inspired by . . . the Want of Thankfulness
Focusing on Thanksgiving as a Lifestyle, not just a holiday.
"All our Discontents about what we want, appeared to me,
to spring from the Want of Thankfulness for what we have."
~Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
It’s much easier to focus on what we don’t have, than to be thankful for what we do.
Daily, Eve must have gazed out over the garden, marveling at the endless variety of trees. And yet the serpent was able to convince her to focus on the one tree that she could not have. Eve became discontent, doubted God’s provision for her, and ultimately sinned against God.
Genesis 3 shows us how dangerous an attitude of discontent can be. But it’s not just discontentment that we need to watch out for. Simply failing to give thanks and glory to God can put us on a path to ingratitude which leads to idolatry. Romans 1:18-32 describes this downward spiral for us. Take note of verse 21: because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Although Romans 1 is speaking about non-believers, a similar path to idolatry can clearly be seen in the life of Solomon. Even with his vast wealth, and a blessing of wisdom from the Lord, Solomon refused to acknowledge God and give Him thanks. Rather than having a grateful heart, his ingratitude ultimately led to idolatry (1 Kings 11:6).
"See, then, how great an evil ingratitude is: it produces a love for vanity,
and this results in blindness, and blindness in idolatry,
and idolatry brings about a whole whirlpool of vices."
If you find yourself focusing more on what you don’t have, rather than being thankful for what you do, it may help to clearly identify these roots of discontentment. Left to themselves these roots can easily grow into an ungrateful spirit that shifts our eyes off the one true God.
Once you’ve identified your areas of discontentment, pray.
Ask God to redirect your focus to what He has already given you.
Then praise and thank Him for what He reveals to your heart.
PS Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page for daily inspirations on cultivating a grateful heart! I would love for you to join the discussion!
Note: My inspiration for this series comes from the November 2009 issue of Today in the Word. A ministry of Moody Bible Institute.
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