Ungratefulness is the breeding ground for discontentment.
Ask me how I know…
All right sis, let’s keep it all the way real with each other. I’ll go first. I am realizing that it’s so easy to focus more on all that I don’t have in this season of waiting instead of what I am already blessed to have.
I have frequently made the statement that the generation behind me seems to have a sense of entitlement, i.e. an expectation that they deserve the things they have.
Welp…my Father in heaven, gracious as He is, LOL, shut that statement down really quickly when He revealed that I, too, suffer from this “syndrome of entitlement”. He also revealed to me why: because I have forgotten.
The minute we forget all that He has and continues to do for us, or that we deserve anything we have, we are walking towards the road of complaining, grumbling, and discontentment. There is a reason why the Word calls us to give thanks in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18)–as we make our requests known to Him (Philippians 4:6), as we intercede for others (1 Timothy 2:1), as we enter His gates (Psalm 100:4), as we are making music to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19-20).
Giving thanks is a reminder for us that we are on the receiving end of constant blessings from our good Father, that we don’t deserve.
A few months ago, I was encouraged by my therapist to start an intentional and focused gratitude journal. I began a nightly ritual of journaling three things I am grateful for, using Pinterest as a guide for gratitude prompts. This kept my heart in a posture of gratitude, as I was daily encouraged to remember all that was right in front of me, even as I am waiting.
I began to consider what I had forgotten, and as I journaled this, I was amazed at how quickly my heart became filled with contentment, humility and gratitude.
Let me tell the whole truth: I am not deserving of any of the blessings I have right now. It is simply because God, not me, is good. Yet, because I had forgotten so many of these things, I had become puffed up, ungrateful and thus, discontented.
Here is just a portion of my list of things I had forgotten (mind you, I took up almost two pages of my journal ) and the first one is most important:
- who You are (Holy, glorious, righteous, merciful, the Creator of the entire universe)
- how hopeless I am without You Lord
- I am really nothing without You
- my health
- my job
- soundness of mind
- clean, running water
- direct access to You, 24/7
- eternal life
- sunny weather
- both of parents living
- my siblings
- an awesome church with sound biblical teaching
- waking up to new mercies every morning
- unending, undeserved grace
- a comfortable place to live
- the opportunity to blog and encourage others
- places to worship freely
- a variety of clothes
- the ability to pay my bills
- the ability to pay off my debt
- peace with God
- Your Word in various forms
- the ability to do my own hair
- no diseases
- functioning organs
- not having to take any medications
- the ability to walk, talk, dress and bathe myself
- that you forgive ALL of my sins
- that You, Lord, don’t deal with me as I deserve
- that you delivered me from depression
- how much I have been forgiven
Isn’t our God amazing?!
As I began reading through some more verses of scripture, I came up with even more things I had forgotten.
As you are waiting, look around you. Take a few minutes each day and come up with your own list. Write down the things you have forgotten–things to be grateful for. I promise you will be amazed. You will also have something to refer back to when the waiting becomes too hard.
Gratitude is the breeding ground for contentment.
And when you are truly content, how long you wait won’t seem as long.
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.PHILIPPIANS 4:11-12, NLT
If you are having trouble remembering, pick a Psalm (I used Psalm 103 as a guide) or another book of the Bible and as you read, I guarantee you will find many prompts to remember what you have forgotten.
Then the Lord God made a womanGenesis 2:22, NLT
Scripture references: The Holy Bible (NLT)
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