Gratitude Attitudes

May 16, 2015

“… in everything… with thanksgiving present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

In the last chapter of the letter to his favorite Church at Philippi Paul gives us a prescription for peace.  The peace of God is a state of personal peace in which God keeps a believer if they meet certain conditions (Isaiah 26:3).  There are twelve such conditions listed in Philippians 4.

As I seek to maintain the personal peace that comes from God, I get more mileage out of the prescription listed above than any of the others.  I have discovered when I begin to thank God for all the good things in my life it’s like a switch clicks and I find my mind automatically moving from the negative to the positive.

To use another metaphor, if I placed all the bad stuff in my life on the left side of a scale – like a scale of justice – and all the good stuff on the right side of that scale, the right side will far outweigh the left side.  That’s what happens when I implement what I call, “The Therapy of Thanksgiving.”

An old hymn put it this way:

“When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed.
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost.
Count your many blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

That’s why Paul’s prescription is that when we pray, in everything (not for everything), we should offer thankful prayers.  He promises that when we do, the peace of God will stand guard over our hearts and minds.

Dick Woodward, 22 October 2010


The Price of Ingratitude

November 22, 2012

“… although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful…”   (Romans 1:21)

In the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome he gives a resume of the fall of the human race.  Paul does the same thing Moses did in the third chapter of the book of Genesis.  They both describe the fall of man as it was and as it is.  By that I mean they are not merely describing an historical event in the past but they want us to understand what is happening in our culture right now.

In Paul’s account of the fall of the human race he traces the origin of our fall to two things: we did not glorify God as God, and we were not thankful.  He then continues to describe how God gave us up to what we wanted and we became guilty of every imaginable kind of sin.  As he vividly describes what happened to the human race after God did not give up on us but gave us up to what we wanted, the result became what Paul described as “all unrighteousness.”

If you track with Paul as he itemizes what he means by “all unrighteousness” it’s intriguing to realize that all that horrible sin began with the hard reality that we were not thankful.  There are so many exhortations and prescriptions in the Word of God for us to be thankful but here in the first chapter of Romans is a great warning about the price of not being thankful.

Like it was and like it is, appreciate the value of an attitude of gratitude.  And, like it was and like it is, do not underestimate the price of an attitude of ingratitude.