This month at CSAHM, we’ve been talking about gratitude. To finish up the month, I wanted to add one more thought on how gratitude can transform our hearts.
This time of year materialism seems to be at an all time high. My kids are focused on the newest Lego sets and I’m browsing online catalogues for my own Christmas wish list. The stores bombard us with sale flyers and emails. And my mail has doubled since the beginning of November.
Living in a sinful world with a heart prone to wander from the truth, the temptation is great to develop attitudes like discontentment, bitterness, envy and self-centeredness. Thoughts of envy take over quickly when we see a friend get a new car or a new house. Our heart is prone to dwell on all the things we don’t have rather than on what we do have. And how often do we wish our life was different in some way?
Gratitude is a posture of the heart that can fight against these sinful thoughts and feelings. Like a castle’s walls, built to protect the people against an enemy invasion, gratitude is like a guard that fights against sinful attitudes that try to take up residence in our heart. It is a barrier to those sins that want to steal our peace and joy.
When we are living a life of gratitude, it’s hard to grumble or complain. When we focus on all that Christ has done for us, it is hard for bitterness to take root. When we know how much we have been blessed, it is hard to be envious of what others have.
The more we express our gratitude to God for all that He has done, the more our faith and love for Him will grow. Gratitude gives us confidence in the face of the arrows of doubt. Focusing on all the ways He has loved us keeps us from stumbling when sin comes knocking at our door. Looking to the Giver of all good things keeps our eyes off our circumstances and on the One who alone fills us with peace.
May gratitude become such a part of us that it breathes out with our every breath.
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” Psalm 28:7
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