Have you ever been in a situation that is extremely difficult to thank God for? Do you ever find it hard to give thanks in everything? The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” There are a lot of situations in life that are hard to face. Facing them with a grateful heart can be even harder. Here are three obstacles to having a grateful heart.
One of the first obstacles is our pride. This is the attitude that says, "Nobody ever gave me anything, I worked hard for everything I have. I have made it through life without the help of anybody.” With this kind of attitude, we feel that we have no one to thank but ourselves. It is apparent that we fail to recognize that if it wasn’t for the grace, strength, and ability that God has granted us we would not even be alive. God uses people on our journey to come up alongside of us and help us through things.
Another obstacle that keeps us from having a thankful heart is a critical spirit or constant complaining. Instead of being grateful, this person will always find something to complain about. It is like we are on a fault finding mission and we are always picking everything apart and nothing is ever good enough. Have you ever met a “chronic griper?” Like the man that had a piece of rotten cheese hung in his mustache and thought the whole world stunk. Everything stinks and nothing is right. A lady known as an incurable grumbler constantly complained about everything. At last her preacher found out that her potato crop was very good that year so he wanted to compliment her regarding a good crop. He felt like that would make her happy so when he met her, he said to her with a beaming smile, “You must be very happy, Mary about your healthy potato crop this year.” Mary replied by saying, “yes it is a very good crop and I have a lot of healthy potatoes but what am I going to do when I need bad ones to feed the pigs." Like this lady, some people see nothing but the bad in everything.
A third attitude that keeps us from being grateful is carelessness. Someone once said that if the stars only came out once a year, we would stay up all night to watch them. But they are there every night and we have grown accustomed to them. We have a tendency to take things for granted, especially the things that are always there.
Are you so sold on yourself and your ability and accomplishments that the only person that you think about in life is you? Are you thankful for others, and you have come to the place in life that you recognize that if it wasn’t for God and people, you would not be where you are today?
The Israelites grumbled constantly because they had no food so God miraculously sent manna to cover the ground each day except the Sabbath day. Then they started to complain because they got tired of the same thing every day. Eventually, God was displeased with their ungrateful attitude and sent leanness to their souls because they were never satisfied.
May we always be appreciative of the great things that God provides and the things that he does for us daily. Being grateful is an attitude that we should exercise on a daily basis. Would you begin today to bless someone by showing gratitude to them for something they have done for you? Would you commit yourself to giving God praise for ALL He provides? Remember, “thanksgiving leads to thanksliving.”