I'd like to talk a little tonight about overcoming ingratitude. When we look at the world, we see a lot of this where people just arent' grateful. I think a lot of times, it is just easy to be negative, or complainers, or not realize the gifts we have been given.
- Ephesians 5:20
As Christians, we should be giving thanks. There are many things we should be grateful for, spiritual things but also physical things.
The Bible tells us we're to be thankful.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Sometimes, we lose our way and forget to be thankful. The Bible has many examples for us and those examples speak loudly to us. When you look to the life of Jesus, you see how thankful He was.
John chapter seventeen shows us how grateful he was, for his apostles then, but for all Christians to come.
We've been studying in 1 Samuel in our Bible classes and we see how different David was from King Saul.
- 1 Chronicles 16: 7-12
We see David talking about how thankful he was, and that we need to sing out to Him and declare our gratefulness, and we see David doing that.
Think of Daniel, and how thankful he was. He served the king, and those around him tricked the king into declaring that people couldn't pray to anyone but himself. What did Daniel do? He went to his room and prayed at the open window, and he prayed thankfulness, Daniel 6:10.
Think of Paul. He set such an example of thankfulness for a life that was very hard. In Acts 27, they're about to be shipwrecked and he gives thanks and eats.
When we think of these examples, we see this gratitude. Ask yourself, how do we become a person like that?
I've heard that if you sit down daily and write down the things you're grateful for, you can learn to develop these habits.
8 Ways to Overcome Ingratitude
Remember Never to Forget
This morning Jack had the lesson on remembering. And, we remembered yesterday, 9/11. We have to remember, to not forget. As humans, we need .to have that As you get older it can become more difficult to not forget. But we need to train our minds to not forget.
- Psalm 103:2
We need to remember all those benefits we have from God.
When you look at the life of Joseph. In Genesis chapter forty, he's been put in jail, falsely accused. He's in jail and the butler is in there with him, he has a dream and Joseph interprets the dream. The butler is going to be restored to the king's service. What does Joseph ask of him? To remember him to the king. But, the butler forgets.
We don't want to be like the butler, we need to remember to not forget.
- Luke 17: 11-19
How many times has something happened that we've forgotten to say thank you? Chick-fil-a employees, when someone says thank you, are trained to say, "My pleasure." They have a certain amount of days that they are learned to say that or they are released. Just to be grateful, makes a difference.
We need to remember to turn back and say, "Thank you." That should be us. We need to be the ones that remember to say thank you.
"Blessed are those who give without remembering, and those who receive without forgetting." — Elizabeth Bibesco
Let's remember not to forget.
2) Do Not Major on Your Troubles
It's easy to talk about what's wrong. How many times do we major on something minor? We have to be careful because what we focus on becomes our reality.
- Romans 8:28
Do we believe that? Do we count our blessings or our bruises? Do we talk about our blessings or about our problems? When we look back, do we look back on the good things or on the bad things?
Some songs, in our songbook, are written by Fannie Crosby. She was blind and wrote many wonderful songs, like; A Wonderful Savior. She focused on the good things.
We can be thankful for a lot of things, it depends on how we look at things.
A commentator, Matthew Henry, was robbed, and he said he was thankful. He was thankful that, he wasn't robbed by the person before, that he didn't take his life, and that he was not the one robbing someone else.
Sometimes, we just need perspective.
3) Think of How Much Better You Are
When we start focusing, too much, on ourselves, we need to remember how much better we are. How thankful are we for the country we live in? How thankful are we for our freedoms, the opportunities, for the choices we have, that we have conveniences?
It can always be better, but it can also be a lot worse.
- Hebrews 13:5
Jesus will never leave us, never forsake us. Are we not better off than everyone else, just for one example like this. We get caught up in the things of today, instead of focusing on how much better things are.
4) Count Your Blessings
Do we count our blessings? Or do we concentrate on what we don't have?
- 1 Timothy 6:6-8
Do we remember all the ways we are blessed? We sing the song, but do we count them.
- Ephesians 1:3
The most important blessing that we have, is that we are in Christ. A lot of the things we struggle with, we won't have to struggle with. Have you ever sat down to write down all the blessings you have in your life?
I don't think we can count them. We need to realize how we are blessed and not concentrate on the things we don't have.
5) Express Our Gratitude
How often do you truly express your gratitude? If someone does something kind to you, do you express gratitude? In your prayer life, do you thank God for the things you're grateful for? When you go from one place to the other, do you thank God for the establishment of the church, and being able to find a congregation of faithful, like-minded, people to worship with?
- Psalms 107:1-8
Is this us? Do we give thanks? Do we praise Him as we should?
Think of those times when you have an opportunity to express gratitude. We need to express it, in our actions.
- Psalms 116:12
We need to show, using our talents, our time, our money, to express our gratitude.
6) Do Not Take Common Things for Granted
How often, do you take things for granted. Sometimes, we don't think. Think and thank, come from the same Greek root word. We need to watch, and not take for granted the things we're blessed with. We can be thoughtless. But, we need to work to not do this with our gratitude.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18
7) Do Away With Complaining
It's easy to complain. We need to do away with complaining. Remember the Israelites. God had led them out of captivity, and what is one of the first things they do? They murmur and complain.
We need to not be people who murmur and complain.
- Numbers 14:1-2
Let that not be us, they died in the wilderness because they murmured and complained. We need to give thanks in all things.
- Philippians 2:14
8) We are a Recipient and Should Never Forget the Gift
We need to never forget the gift.
- James 1:17
We need to remember the gift which God has given to us. The rich farmer, Luke chapter 12, had amassed so much, he was going to tear down his barn, to build greater barns. But that night, his life was required of him. He had not been faithful. We don't want that to be us.
The Art of Thanksgiving by Ms. Priyanka Patel
It is gratitude in action. "In gratitude for your own good fortune, you must render in return some sacrifice of your life for other life."
It is thanking God for the gift of life by living it triumphantly.
It is thanking God for your talents and abilities by accepting them as obligations to be invested for the common good.
It is thanking God for all that men and women have done for you and by doing things for others.
It is thanking God for opportunities by accepting them as a challenge to achievement.
It is thanking God for happiness by striving to make others happy.
It is thanking God for inspiration by trying to be an inspiration to others.
It is thanking God for health and strength by the care and reverence you show your body.
It is thanking God for the creative ideas that enrich life by adding your own creative contributions to human progress.
It is thanking God by giving hands, arms, legs, and voice to your thankful spirit.
It is adding to your prayers of thanksgiving, acts of thanks living.
Are You Grateful?
As we think of our lives, let us truly live a life of gratitude. Let us truly live a life of thankfulness for what we have.
We have a gift that we don't deserve. Jesus loved us so much that He came here to pay the ultimate sacrifice for my sins, and your sins. And all we have to do is accept that by being obedient to Him. And, one day we will be the most thankful people because we will get to live in glory with Him forever.
One of my favorite passages comes from Revelation where it says it is a place of no sorrow, no pain. That's a place I want to be. If you have not put the Lord on in baptism, you can do that. You can be in Christ and have those spiritual blessings.
If you've heard God's Word and believe that Jesus is the Son of God, be willing to confess Him before men, repent of your past way of living, and put Him on in baptism, you can have that home in Heaven, and that hope of that home have the Savior that you can go to in prayer.
If you are a Christian who has been ungrateful, we ask that you return to the Lord living a repentant life and a life of gratitude.
If we can assist you in coming to know the love of God, and how you can show your gratitude, contact us.