Thanksgiving: An Attitude of Gratitude

My church is studying the Gospel of Luke right now; last week we landed in Luke 12:13-21

When my community group was discussing the sermon yesterday, we found ourselves honing in on gratitude vs. greed and grumbling.  In our culture, where keeping up with the Jones' and competing to be the best is so prevalent, greed is really an issue.  When we can't keep up with the Jones',  and when that next rung on the status ladder seems so far away, then comes the grumbling.

When I was listening to the sermon, I had this detachment from it  and though bits were convicting, it didn't really apply to me entirely.  I don't struggle with greed and grumbling! Right?

WRONG!  Yesterday, I got kicked in the pants twice when the Holy Spirit revealed I'm a big grumbler, especially at/about work.  I got called out by my coworker Maria when I was manually feeding envelopes into the printer:

Me (to the printer, we named it "Crystal"): Crystal, you suck, you are so slow!!!!
Maria: (she snuck up behind me) Talking to the printer?
Me: She is taking forever!
Maria: The printer is like magic.  She is amazing and prints things out so you don't have to hand write them!  Elizabeth, at least you are not sitting at your desk with a wrist cramp because you had to hand address each and every one of those!

She was right.  Then, later in the day, I was complaining to the Huz about work being boring and stressful at the same time  He, instead of consoling me, said, "is your joy rooted in your circumstances?  There is a disconnect between what you profess your identity to be as a daughter in Christ and the way you are complaining right now."  At the time I got huffy and told him not to "talk counselor" to me, but later, reflecting back on the day, I realized I have a grumbling ungrateful heart.

This realization comes at a very opportune time, what with Thanksgiving being only a few weeks away.  Today, I have found myself reflecting on thanks and what it means to have gratitude.  I read a wonderful article by John Piper that I would like to share, because it is awesome.

To sum the article up, thanksgiving and gratitude are similar words, but with the word thanksgiving you loose the root of grace.  Gratitude is the feeling of joy that you feel when you receive grace, an undeserved gift or kindness.  However, it is not for our joy that we feel gratitude; it is, ultimately, for the glory of the giver.

My family has a Thanksgiving tradition of standing in a circle before our meal and sharing one thing we are thankful for.  This Thanksgiving, instead of just sharing a quick "thanks for preparing the food" to the cooks, I want to remember who is the ultimate grace giver.  I want to give him gratitude not only for his grace in going to the cross and reconciling me to God, but also for the day-to-day grace that is constantly poured out to me, despite my grumbling and thankless heart.  I'm also grateful for the fact this heart was revealed, so that he can now work on it and change it.

What are you feeling gratitude for, as we approach Thanksgiving?

Source: Country Living
Xoxo E


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