Ingratitude is Contagious…Don’t Be a Carrier


Ingratitude is Contagious…Don’tBe a Carrier
Today’s Truth<o:p></o:p>
When the [FONT=“Arial”]Lord heardyour complaining, he became very angry. So he solemnly swore, ‘Not one ofyou from this wicked generation will live to see the good land I swore to giveyour ancestors, exceptCaleb son of Jephunneh. He will see this land because he has followed the Lord completely. I will give to himand his descendants some of the very land he explored during his scoutingmission.’(Deuteronomy 1:35-36 New Living Translation)<o:p></o:p>[/FONT]
Friend to Friend<o:p></o:p>
Ingratitude laced withgrumbling, complaining, and murmuring is an easy trap to fall into. And it isso contagious. Someone grumbles and the next thing you know, you fall right inline and start grumbling too. I wonder if that’s what happened in thewilderness as the Israelites made one more trek around Mount Sinai. “I’m sickof this manna,” one complained. Then another looked at God’s sweet provision andsaid, “Come to think of it, I’m sick of it too.” The next thing you know thesea of ingrates becomes a tidal wave of grumblers and God sends them on anotherlap around the wilderness and places a “Do Not Enter” sign in front of thePromised Land.<o:p></o:p>
When you think about it,ingratitude is a casual despising of God’s sovereignty. It’s like saying wedon’t like how He is running things and think we could do it better.<o:p></o:p>
Gratitude and giving thanksin all things opens our eyes to see God’s glory in even the smallest things. Onthe other hand, ingratitude blinds our eyes to God’s presence, and we miss Hisadvances all around. It’s a choice, not an emotion. However, this choice togive thanks may very well open the way for positive emotions such as joy toemerge and take hold. Paul wrote: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say itagain (because you probably didn’t get it the first time): Rejoice!” (Philippians4:4, parentheses mine).<o:p></o:p>
There is nobody moremiserable than an ungrateful person. Margaret and I were chatting aboutgratitude when she mentioned how she tries to steer clear of those who grumbleand complain because their ingratitude is so contagious. “I hate calling mysister,” she mused. “I mean, I love her. But talking to her is such a joydrain.”<o:p></o:p>
“What do you mean?” I asked.<o:p></o:p>
“All she does is complain.Something is always wrong with her house. She always has a new ailment. Shegives me the latest obituary report and tells me who is sick with what. Acouple of times I tried to cheer her up. You know, help her see the positiveside of things. ‘At least you have a house. Think of all those people who losttheir homes in the hurricane.’ But it only made her mad. She said I was notbeing sympathetic and that I made little of her problems. So now I justlisten.” <o:p></o:p>
Another friend told me ofsitting with his father discussing the distribution of his “worldly goods,”when the time came to do so. “My dad had very little joy in his life,” Mikeexplained. “As we discussed who was going to get what when he died, I saw apride in him I had never noticed before. ‘I did all this,’ he said as he wavedhis hand around the room like Vanna White. ‘I worked hard and earned it all.’In his mind, [FONT=“Arial”]he had earnedit; he had done it all. Never once did he give thanks to God forall his blessings or acknowledge God’s goodness. He showed no gratitude, nothanksgiving, and certainly no joy”.<o:p></o:p>[/FONT]
His things had become shinyshackles that kept joy at bay all his life. His things. How sad.<o:p></o:p>
As Mike told me the story, Ithought of Henry Ward Beecher’s words: “Pride slays thanksgiving…a proud man isseldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.” Eyes shut tight to God’s glory.<o:p></o:p>
I am reminded of an oldsaying that stirs and stings: “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”Always enough. Jesus thanked God for the two loaves and five fish… and therewas more than enough to go around (John6:1-13).<o:p></o:p>
Today, make a commitment toturn you grumbling to grateful, your complaining into contentment, and yourwhining (did I just say that…yes I did) into praising God!<o:p></o:p>
Let’s Pray<o:p></o:p>
[Sometimes I open my Bibleand simply pray the Psalms. Join me today!]<o:p></o:p>
Praise the Lord, O my soul. Iwill praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as Ilive, (Psalm146:1). Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, howpleasant and fitting to praise him! (Psalm147:1). Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. (Psalm150:1-2). Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love enduresforever. (Psalm136:1).<o:p></o:p>
In Jesus’ Name I praise You!<o:p></o:p>