Monday, November 24, 2008

Got Thanks?

When you cut into your turkey on Thursday, is gratitude in your heart or just hunger for the feast?

Are you a Christian who is overflowing with praise, or overflowing with criticism? Do you have a sense of His presence or a list of agendas? Do you have a stilled soul or a raging cry? Do you come to Christ only when you feel that things are great, or only when you are facing a crisis? How you answer these questions may indicate if you are practicing a discipline of thankfulness or a life of stress and fear. We must realize that gratitude creates a happy heart and a functional Christian life as well as a triumphant church and that ingratitude creates chaos, confusion, strife and discontentment! Gratitude comes from the relationship we have in Christ; when we are happy in Him, we are happy in general and content, humble, and mature. Our hearts are secure and at rest in Him! When our relationship with Christ is not working, it is usually because we messed it up by our attitudes, refusal to work at it and focusing on our disappointments and not Him. Thus, we become ungrateful, and in turn, unhappy and immature (Psalm 131; John 13:17; Philippians 4:6-13).

Gratitude shows character because it is a temperament that comes from the spiritual growth we are called to emulate; it is also a discipline because it fuels our spiritual growth.

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