It’s Thanksgiving season, when we spend time expressing our gratitude to God and each other. I fear, though, that our genuine thanksgiving is too often limited to Thanksgiving Day. In his exposition of Colossians 2:1-8, John Piper wrote these words about gratitude:
Evidently we are fair game for the devil when we don’t abound with thanksgiving. Unless the song of thanksgiving is being sung in our hearts, the enemy outside will deceive his way into the city of our soul, and the enemy sympathizers within will make his job easy. So for the sake of your own safety, strive to fill your heart with thanksgiving! Guard yourselves with gratitude![i]
His point is well made, and we must then ask, “Why does a lack of gratitude open the door to the enemy in our lives?”
- Ingratitude is evidence of idolatry. When we aren’t grateful, we’re in essence saying, “I deserve everything I have.” We make ourselves our own god when ingratitude marks our lives.
- Ingratitude is ego. Thankful people recognize they have much they don’t deserve. Unlike others, they understand that God has been gracious to them.
- Ingratitude misses the joy of receiving God’s blessings. Few times are as joy-filled as when we recognize that God has provided for us. Ungrateful people, though, miss that experience.
- Ingratitude robs God of His glory. This happens when we receive God’s blessings but fail to praise Him with gratitude . . . like the nine healed lepers who failed to return to Jesus with praise and thanksgiving (Luke 17:11-19).
- Ingratitude opens the door to more sin. At its core, ingratitude reflects a heart that has turned away from God toward something else. On the other hand, deeply grateful people seldom walk in sin.
I pray that you had a great Thanksgiving day – and that every day for you becomes a day of genuine gratitude.