English novelist and essayist Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) posits an enduring truth when he states, “Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” It is not that we strive purposefully to be that way, but it is easy for us to become so accustomed to certain things and certain people that we become indifferent to them; we accept them without thankfulness or a thought.
Let us stop and consider some of these things. When was the last time you thanked God for the ability to feed yourself? To tie your shoelaces? For the sense of seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, touching? For family, friends, spiritual leaders? When was the last time you thanked your children for helping with the chores? Your spouse for taking care of the home; for being a hard-working husband or wife who put his or her family’s needs ahead of himself or herself? A friend for always being there when needed? When was the last time you thanked anybody for anything and really meant it? If we take the time to stop and count our blessings, we would be surprised at how much there is to be thankful for. Yet how much have we given thanks for?
Our inability to be aware of and express thankfulness for what God has blessed us with is indicative of an attitude of ingratitude. The Apostle Paul exhorts the church at Colosse to “cultivate thankfulness” (Colossians 3:15, The Message). The same message applies to us today. Instead of being murmurers and complainers, let us resolve to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. To the Thessalonians Paul affirms, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Yes, it is God’s will that we have an attitude of thankfulness not only towards Him but towards those in our sphere of influence.
To be unthankful is to be in a dangerous place; it is to live on the level of the depraved (Romans 1:21, 28-30). In Deuteronomy 28:47-48 we see it is an attitude that God frowns upon: “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of [mind and] heart [in gratitude] for the abundance of all [with which He had blessed you], Therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and in want of all things; and He will put a yoke of iron upon your neck until He has destroyed you” (Amplified). If we are not attaining a thankful spirit then we are slipping toward a depraved mind.
The worship most acceptable to God comes from a thankful and cheerful heart. Such a heart does not know ingratitude but seeks to continually thank God for His blessings, no matter how routine and insignificant they may seem. Do you have such a heart? If not, how about asking His help, starting today, to cultivate a thankful heart? Try it! I guarantee it will change your life and that of at least one person around you.