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Respectable Sin #4: Unthankfulness

April 12, 2008

(Fourth in a series of my thoughts on the book Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges)

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Closely related to the sin of discontentment, unthankfulness is the lack of acknowledgment of and gratitude for all that God has given us.

Now, I consider myself to be pretty thankful — I praise God for all of the blessings he bestows upon us, the big and the small. I start every prayer with thanks to God, praising Him for his power, wisdom, and love. When I really think about all that God has done for me and will continue to do, I am overcome with tears, realizing just how good He has been to me and just how unworthy I am.

And yet, once again I am forced to examine this self-evaluation in a more critical light. The author asks,

“Yet how often do we give thanks for our salvation?” Have you stopped today to give thanks to God for delivering you from the domain of darkness and transferring you to the kingdom of His Son? And if you have given thanks, was it in a mere nominal way, much like some people give thanks at a meal, or was it an expression of heartfelt gratitude for what God has done for you in Christ?

Well, that really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? And beyond that, the author went on to remind the reader that every thing — everything we are and everything we have — is from God. From the air we breathe to the skills we use in our work, to our car and so on.  The list is endless!  As a result, our lives should be lives of continual thanksgiving.

He also reminds us that we should be thankful even in unfavorable circumstances, because God directs the outcome of those circumstances for good (our being conformed to the image of God’s son), as stated in Romans 8:28-29.  It is not an easy thing to remember, let alone put into practice.  He suggests that when we find ourselves in that type of situation, we offer the following prayer:

Father, the circumstance I am in now is difficult and painful.  I would not have chosen it, but You in Your love and wisdom chose it for me.  You intend it for my good and so by faith I thank You for the good You are going to do in my life through it.  Help me to genuinely believe this and be able to thank You from my heart.

What will you thank God for today?

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

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One comment

  1. I am positive that I need to read this book.



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