The Protection of Gratitude

On Sunday, I mentioned the importance of gratitude to walking with Jesus.  Although I have many thoughts on the subject, I am not the first or the most eloquent thinker about gratitude.  The following is a quote from Pastor John Piper.  He has spoken and written extensively about gratitude and how it works in us for God’s purposes.

He writes, “Gratitude is a virtue most worthy of our cultivation. Indeed, in all the Christian life, gratitude is to be planted, watered, dressed, and harvested. Gratitude gets at the very essence of what it means to be created, finite, fallen, redeemed, and sustained by the God of all grace.

Ingratitude was at the heart of the fall, and at the heart of what’s fallen about us to this day. “Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God orgive thanks to him” (Romans 1:21). Again and again throughout the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms, it is gratitude — giving God thanks — that is the fitting response to his gracious acts of deliverance for his people.

It was gratitude to the Father that Jesus expressed at that first Maundy Thursday table as he held out the bread and cup to his disciples (Matthew 26:27Mark 14:23Luke 22:17–191 Corinthians 11:24). It is profound and enduring gratitude, among other things, that his sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection summon in the born-again heart. And in the daily Christian life, it is the genuine giving of thanks for God’s gifts that keeps us from idolatry and sinful asceticism (1 Corinthians 10:30–31;1 Timothy 4:3–4).” (see: http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/christian-gratitude and http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/grace-gratitude-and-the-glory-of-god)

My thoughts on this subject can be said succinctly – When we lack gratitude we stumble back into our self-centered and self-focused heart.  We make idols out of our own goodness and we become the center of our own lives.  God becomes small when we act out of an ungrateful heart.

Something to think about,

Pastor John

 

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