Are you a brat?
life of gratitude
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
One way to fortify our lives against sin is to live out active gratitude. Dissatisfaction can grow into a menacing monster. An unsatisfied soul should never be ignored. Ongoing or chronic feelings of dissatisfaction are red flags that need to be dealt with. Such feelings may mean that something vital is missing, and we need to seek God without delay.
Other times, nagging feelings of dissatisfaction can be little more than the byproduct of living in an overindulged society. Think about it. Countless millions of dollars are spent annually by advertisers whose only goal is to convince us that we are not yet satisfied. Sometimes our feelings tell us we’re less satisfied than we really are.
How can we know the difference? Apply the phrase Paul gave us: “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Active gratitude will cure self- or society-induced dissatisfaction. Often we know what our problem is. We even know what the remedy may be. But we must take the medicine the Word prescribes when we’re feeling under the weather spiritually.
Many times we don’t have a knowledge problem; we have an obedience problem. Give thanks in all circumstances. Just trying to sit like a thankful-looking bump on a log won’t cut it. Actively giving thanks is required.
When I’m feeling down or a little bit like a brat, I often sense God speaking to my heart, “Name ’em, child.” I don’t even have to ask what he means. He means start naming a mere 20 or 30 of the thousands of ways he’s been good to me. God has had such mercy on my life, I ought to be among the most grateful people around, and that’s exactly what I want to be.
If our selfish hearts are trying to trick us into feeling a sense of dissatisfaction, a dose of thanksgiving will cure what ails us. If it doesn’t, we have a more serious issue, and we must diligently seek the wisdom and remedy of God. —Beth Moore
seeking: Father, what thanks will I offer you this moment? What praise will I offer to you out of gratitude for all you’ve done?
responding: What feelings of dissatisfaction am I experiencing? What will change in my life if I start to actively give thanks to God?
Father, you are the source of all good things and you are worthy of all my gratitude. Please help me to develop a thankful heart that glorifies you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
following: Active gratitude cures dissatisfaction.