(Photo by Craig Adderley)
The Silent Majority: Ingratitude
By Zelda Dominguez
This year has been incredibly different. Remember earlier this year the fiasco of people frantically hitting supermarkets for fear of not having enough food, or toilet paper? Then Covid-19 hit. Along with lockdowns, schools closings, rioting, looting, social distancing, sanitizing, etc. Shall I add, the required mask wearing, the election, trending conspiracy theories, the loss of jobs and businesses, fires, and negative media. Do I go on? This is what our world is looking like, but what about our own personal lives?
We have a tendency to become weighed down by our problems, and then our troubles begin to define us. Have you? What’s coming out of your mouth? Complaints or thankfulness? Do you take the people around you for granted? And when it comes to your relationship with God, how have you been? Grateful or ungrateful?
I think we all have been guilty at one time or another. It’s easy to become ungrateful when focused on our problems or situations around us. But we are called to give thanks not just in the good circumstances, but in ALL circumstances. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 states, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
You may not consider yourself an “ingrate” but let me define the actions of one and see if it sounds like us sometimes?
- complaining/ blame shifting
- bitter/ resentful
- never satisfied
- selfish/non empathetic
- envy/comparing their life to others
- play the victim / need for admiration or approval
An ungrateful heart doesn’t concentrate on the good aspects of their life, instead only sees the opposite, leaving them resentful and even angry. They scan at what others have, or for what’s missing, making choices based on what is lacking. It is a rejection of God, the giver of every blessing, whether expected or unexpected, whether pleasant or painful.
God’s word predicted this in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
When we choose to be ungrateful and exercise one of these above mentioned behaviors, we take our focus off of God and His goodness. If you are a Christ follower, that alone is reason to be thankful. There is an overwhelming amount of reasons why we are blessed. Here are only a few:
- We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- We are delivered from the powers of darkness (Colossians 1:13)
- We are forgiven (Colossians 1:13-14)
- We are heirs of eternal life (1 John 3:11-12)
- We are never alone (Matthew 28:18, 20)
Children are reminded by parents to say thank you and please because it is an important lesson to be taught that is carried on throughout life. Our heavenly Father asks that His children overflow with thanksgiving. Being a follower of Jesus Christ, thankfulness is central. Ungratefulness, on the other hand, is a sin and the root of other sins.
The Apostle Paul learned the meaning of true thanksgiving, even in the midst of great adversity. He had been imprisoned in harsh conditions, unjustly accused, brutally treated, yet he wrote in Ephesians 5:19-20, “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Worship includes taking delight in and giving thanks for all that God brings into our lives—in all circumstances”
Perhaps this year has been tremendously difficult for you personally. During this pandemic, we have all experienced loss. So much in our lives we have taken for granted. But even so, we all have much to be thankful for. How are we responding? Romans 1:21a says, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him.” We have a choice to make…