Welcome once again to The Miserable Christian series! Today we are going to put our focus on Thanklessness. First let's take a look at what it means to be thankful.
pleased and relieved.
synonyms: grateful, appreciative, filled with gratitude, relieved More
expressing gratitude and relief.
I have found that many times my own misery comes from being thankless, ungrateful, and unappreciative, not just for the things in my life, but the people in my life. Our lives our fast paced, and our minds are always going, but I have found that slowing down and giving thanks can completely change my perspective. You see when we are ungrateful we are usually overlooking all the things we have to be thankful for.
Let me give you an example of what my typical day can look like by two simple prayer journal entries:
Lord, I don't understand why this has to be so difficult. I am so tired of cleaning the same messes over and over again. I feel like no one helps out the way they should, and everything is left for me to do. Everyone grumbles and complains when they can't find what they need, but no one is helping me keep this huge house clean. I feel overwhelmed. The kid's rooms are a mess; the laundry never ends, and I don't feel like washing dishes for the third time today after I have cooked dinner for everyone, and haven't even eaten yet.
I feel like my husband is distant, and always focused on his projects. I don't feel respected or like an equal, and I do not deserve to be treated like a child. Why did I marry this man again Lord? Why, is this what you wanted for me?
My kids are out of control, and I feel like I don't have enough time to give each of them the attention they deserve, I feel like I could be a better mom, but I don't know how.
I am trying to find a job to help our family out financially, but this city sucks! I hate living here. There is nothing to do and no jobs. I never wanted to be stationed here Lord, and I am ready to leave. I'm in a new place, I have no friends, and it feels like nothing in my life is going the way I want it to. Why am I even trying Lord, I feel like Solomon.
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
What is the point of all of this Lord?
Lord, you are simply amazing. I don't deserve your grace or mercy, but they are new every morning. Lord, thank you for blessing me with a home to keep, food to eat, and little feet to dance through the halls. I hear my children singing and laughing, and it reminds me of your goodness. Lord help me lead them to you and give me the faith they have. Thank you, Lord, for a husband who works so hard to provide for our family, and who is always looking for ways to make our house more of a home. I love him Lord, and I know you brought us together so we could become more like Jesus. Help me, to be his helper, to encourage him, and build him up.
Lord, you know our needs, and you know our wants. Help us to know the difference, and Lord if it is your will, help me find a job, and if it is not, help us to be a better steward of what you do provide. I look around this city, and right down the road I see the beauty of the river and the ocean coming together. I see the plants, animals, and trees you have created. They call out in praise and worship to you. Lord, help me see the beauty in all you have made. Show me where I can minister to this community, and help me make true friends along the way.
I don't deserve to know you, and have communion with you today, but thanks be to Jesus my brother, who paid my ransom, so I could speak freely with you, and be in your presence. Lord thank you for this day; please help me to make the most of it.
Can you see how much thankfulness changes our perspective? Oh, and I could have totally prayed both of these prayers, and have prayed them.
So let's take a look at what God has to say about thankfulness in the Bible:
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3: 15-17
So how can we practice being more thankful? Here are a few ideas for you:
1- Every day write out at least three things you are thankful for, and as the day goes on continue to think on these things. You could also try writing things down as they happen during the day. Then look over these things each morning and night and thank God for what he has given you.
2- Every time you think a negative thought about anything counter it with what you can be thankful about in that situation.
3- Pray, pray, pray. Thank God for what he's given you, ask him to help you be more thankful for your life, and thank him for sending Jesus to pay for our sin.
How do you battle an ungrateful spirit? Do you have any useful tips or verses to share?
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