by Pastor Joby Soriano
Gratitude is a command and choice for us to respond with a heartfelt expression of thanksgiving and appreciation acknowledging the grace of God, in every area of one’s life. But notice that it is first a command, and secondly a choice. Gratitude is not a feeling that dictates your choices. But it is a choice that affects your feelings.
Gratitude is what the children of God do in everything, at every moment, every day. First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” The will of God is for us to be grateful. Think about it. Gratitude is a gift that the poorest person can give it lavishly for free, yet having given this, will not make him poorer but even richer.
Are you grateful? Ask yourself these questions: Do you find yourself complaining about the traffic? How about your work situation? Do you feel resentful about not having branded clothes or the latest gadgets? Do resent your parents? Ungrateful people live miserable lives because they choose to. Ungrateful people become unhappy, bitter, discontent, and angry. They can’t live with joy, peace and contentment because they see life with a pessimistic perspective.
Another mistaken perspective is the feeling of entitlement. In most families today, parents spend too much time at work or earning money. Consequently, they have little time left to be with their children and develop healthy relationships. To compensate, they “buy” their children’s affection with whatever they ask for–toys, candies, gadgets, etc. Children then develop a sense of entitlement–that they are entitled to receive everything they ask for. This fosters an attitude of ingratitude. A child who is used to getting everything he want will throw a tantrum when he isn’t given what he demands.
Ungrateful people want it NOW! Like the prodigal son, we couldn’t wait. Ungrateful people believe that they deserve MORE! Like the elder brother in Luke 15, we are envious and jealous, proud or angry; we assert that we deserve more and better.
The antidote to their ungratefulness is to have a whole new perspective, and that is, gratitude. To teach our children the attitude of gratitude, we have to model it. Our children are watching us and they follow our example.
To cultivate an attitude of gratitude, we have to DECIDE to turn blessings into praise. Every blessing God pours out, let us turn back to praise (Deuteronomy 8:17-18) because every blessing we don’t turn back to praise turns into pride.
What did Jesus teach about gratitude? In Luke 17, ten lepers cried out to Jesus for healing. Jesus healed them, but only one came back to Him with gratitude and praise. Jesus said, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner? Arise, go your way, your faith has made you whole.” Gratitude confirms salvation. Will you be like this one who returned to God to give thanks?
With so much that God has done and is doing for us and in our lives, shouldn’t gratefulness be a natural response? Let us pray to receive a new perspective about God. Meditate on this list:
1. He love us and has our best interests in mind. (John 3:16)
2. Everything that happens to us is meant to bring us closer to Him. (Romans 8:31-32)
3. He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)
4. He is sovereign and in perfect control of all things. (Psalm 103:19)
5. Nothing is impossible with Him. (Luke 1:37)
Whatever circumstance you are in right now, remember that there are many reasons to praise God for. Would you pause right now and express your gratitude to Him?
— CCF Weekly Chronicles, July 24, 2011
Next Month: Virtues To Teach Your Children: Respect by Pastor JP Masakayan on the Best of CCF Chronicles here on Chester2278’s World of Blogs (chester2278.wordpress.com).