If I were to ask you to write down the first 10 sins that came to your mind, would ingratitude appear on your list? There are two specific passages — Rom. 1:21 and II Tim. 3:2 — that refer to ingratitude, and both passages place it in a very bad light. God has called us to have an attitude of gratitude (Col. 2:6-7), but it can be so easy to forget what God has done for us. In less than two weeks, we’ll sit around the dinner table with family and friends for Thanksgiving. We’ll express our gratitude throughout that day. But let us not limit our thanksgiving to that day. We become fair game for the devil when we don’t abound with thanksgiving (Eph. 4:27).
Gratitude is one of the foundational elements in humanity. There’s no better way to show the world who we are and whose we are by extending gratitude in every circumstance and situation. “Thank you” are two powerful, yet simple words. And too often, they are left unspoken. This simple expression of gratitude is taken for granted by many. Christians, though, must always be thankful “in everything” (Eph. 5:20; I Thess. 5:18).
So, how can we defeat the sin of ingratitude?
Do not play the comparison game: There are those who have so much more than we have, all the while they don’t care about serving God. Or, I’m missing some things. And perhaps it isn’t just the material stuff. Maybe it’s health. Maybe it’s a better marriage. But when we play the comparison game, we will lose. Every. Single. Time. Someone will always have it better than you.
Help someone who does not have what you have: We’re always looking up the food chain. There’s always someone who has it better or bigger or newer. If we keep looking up, we’ll never be satisfied. But if we look back, there’s always someone there, too. When we help those who are less fortunate, there’s a benefit for them, but there’s a benefit for you, too. It reminds us of where we are and how good we’ve got it.
Decide to be thankful for what you have: Purpose in your heart to be thankful for what you have, right now. You’ve got food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and money in the bank. Count your many blessings and see what God has done. God wants us to take a step back and think about how truly blessed we are.