The society in which we live cultivates a culture of ingratitude, elevating our desire for ‘things’ over our Lord. Believing in God’s Word, according to Philippians 4:19, God provides all we need. If wishing for more is all we do, then we will never be grateful.
Try this simple experiment. Choose an area of your life you talk about with your friends: your job, your body, your family. Then imagine one of your friends saying something like, “Guys, I want you to know that I’m really happy with my job.” Or, “I actually love the way my stomach looks right now.” Do you view this as boasting or demonstrating gratitude?
Often, ingratitude comes when we try to satisfy this hunger for God with what could be seen as blatantly sinful desires. Somewhere in our hearts, maybe on a level we’re not consciously aware of, we convince ourselves that whatever created thing we lack – health, popularity, pleasure – will satisfy us if we can get just a little more of it. But as Christians, we know that our satisfaction can only be found in God. Right here, right now, Christ suffices in abundance or need, plenty or want, life or death (Phil. 4:11-13).
Gratitude seems elusive because we are easily duped into thinking that an eternal hunger can be satisfied with temporal things. Start sensitising yourself to ingratitude, in your own heart and around you; complaints about a job or our physical bodies or the desire for a bigger house. Be aware of ingratitude by cultivating contentment in Jesus. Jesus Christ is the one and only key to human happiness. God provides our ultimate satisfaction; as our atonement and mediator, He alone makes it possible for us to have a relationship with Him that brings ultimate satisfaction (Ps. 16:11).
Cultivating that relationship with God builds contentment in our hearts. Meditating on the Word, worshiping God through prayer and song – all these open our hearts to the source of true satisfaction. Gratitude grows out from the inside. Ingratitude, like any sin, is a lion that grows when we feed it and shrivels when we don’t. Tasting and seeing God’s goodness leads to gratitude.
Let me encourage you to, daily, seek out something for which to be grateful.
Director of ELC and OSHC