On Thanksgiving Day, when you are sitting around the table sharing your blessings, it’s easy to feel thankful. But we all have to work to maintain a grateful spirit every other day. Perhaps it would help to identify these four attitudes that are enemies of thankfulness:
This is one of the most ignorant enemies of thankfulness. Comparison tends to make us feel inadequate, boastful, or lacking—all of which kill a spirit of gratefulness. We only see a small portion of the lives of others. It may appear that they have more or better than us, but we do not know all the other aspects of their lives and in what other ways God is working in their lives. It’s far better for us to trust God in His dealings with others and compare ourselves to no one but Christ.
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.—2 Corinthians 10:12
Someone once wisely said, “The foundation of gratitude is the expectation of nothing.” Expectations rob our joy and damage our relationships. Give all your expectations to God, and you will never be disappointed.
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.—Psalm 62:5
3. Discontented Spirit
When we focus on what God has given us rather than on what we wish He had given us, we enjoy our blessings much more fully.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.—1 Thessalonians 5:18
In the rush to accomplish, we sometimes forget to meditate on God’s goodness in the victories along the way. We’re prone to hurry some of the most significant events and people of our lives as we push forward to the next step in our plans or the next item on our calendars. Spending a few minutes to reflect on God’s goodness strengthens our spirit of gratefulness and enriches our lives.
Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.—Psalm 103:1–2
May we repel these enemies of thankfulness with a sincere humility that recognizes God’s infinite goodness to each of us!
Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.—Psalm 75:1