November 26, 2020
The Dark Dungeon of Ungratefulness
Thanksgiving Day is a great holiday, one of Martine’s favorites. She loves turkey and all the fixins.’ This welcomed four-day weekend ushers in the start of the real holiday season (no offense to Halloween) and is a break we all appreciate. Thanksgiving seems like the eye of the storm, the calm nestled between the crazy back-to-school pace of autumn and the impending mad rush of the Christmas and New Year season.
What I love the most is the great feeling of having our family all together again for the first time since mid August, two daughters, one in college and one married, now live in distant areas, and like many, journeyed home to be with those they love. Thanksgiving Day is filled with parades, football, family traditions, memories, and great food … followed by a nap. Above all else … and even if none of these other things existed in our lives … Thanksgiving is a time that provides the opportunity for us to simply be thankful. It’s a time to lift others and ourselves out of the dark dungeon of ungratefulness.
You see, we live in an age of entitlement … and it’s difficult to be thankful when we feel “entitled” to so many things. We tend to focus on what we want and desire but don’t have, instead of all the blessings we do have and for which we should be so thankful. We need to work hard to counteract the glut of propaganda that proclaims, “We deserve more.”
Every Christmas commercial, ad, self-help book, well-meaning friend, and small voice from your flesh will scream that you deserve everything that is good or valuable. But really, we are all sinners and, news flash … the wages for sin is death. Everything we have is a tremendous gift of powerful grace granted to us by the One we offend, disappoint, reject, deny, and grieve very regularly.
I hate to be a holiday downer. But unless you know what you truly deserve, it is impossible to see how many gifts you have been granted. It’s hard to recognize God’s grace blessing you every single day. With this perspective, complacency and ungratefulness will be cast out the door as we usher in heartfelt thankfulness to fill the void.
Today, if you aren’t full of thanks, ask God to open your eyes and release you from the dark dungeon of ungratefulness. Before you eat, sit at the table holding hands and tell each other why you are thankful. Remember, the secret of being thankful is learning to see everything from God’s perspective. Then you will truly thank Him for loving, pursuing, forgiving, and giving you so much instead of giving you what you really deserve. Whether you hold onto a perspective and attitude of ungrateful entitlement or you exchange it for thankful glee is your decision, so choose well.
The Benzio’s and our families at Lighthouse Network and Honey Lake Clinic wishes the Stepping Stones community a blessed Thanksgiving Day and future. We are thankful for you, your encouragement to us, and most importantly, your interest and desire to grow in God.
Dear Father God, I come to You in prayer. I ask, Father, that You set me free from the prison of ingratitude. Release me, Lord, to enjoy the pleasures of having a thankful heart. It’s easy for me to be grateful when I wake up on the right side of the bed and encounter no major problems. At other times, thankfulness feels totally unreachable. I need a perspective-lift, Father. Help me to see things from Your viewpoint. Show me the lies and baggage from my past, and the hurts and wounds that suck thankfulness from my heart. Help me access the peace only You give abundantly. I pray in the name of the One who is the source and reason for my thankfulness, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
To open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house. Isaiah 42:7
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Thessalonians 5:18