A Thankful Heart 2 - Recognizing unthankfulness
The seriousness of unthankfulness
An unthankful heart is found in somebody who doesn't appreciate the things that God has given them. Each one of us have been given more than we'll ever know, so there are no excuses for God's children to be unthankful! Unthankfulness is looking at the negative, despite the positive.
God's Word even tells us how people can be given over to homosexuality and all sorts of uncleanliness because they were unthankful:
Romans 1:21,26-27, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened... For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet."
Symptoms of an unthankful heart
People who are unthankful will naturally have negative personalities, find it easy to complain about little things, or easily become moody. Their minds aren't deeply rooted and grounded in a positive or thankful pattern of thinking, therefore when something comes up that pushes their buttons, they quickly forget about the goodness that God has blessed them with, and begin to complain and grumble in their hearts. This brings about a negative/pessimistic personality or mood. This explains the Israelites when they would go about complaining, even after God has delivered them from the hands of their enemies. In Numbers, we are told of how the Israelites were grumbling over the manna that God was giving them every morning when they woke up, so finally God gave them meat alright... so much that they were vomiting it out of their noses!
Numbers 11:18-20, "And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?"
They were unthankful for what God hath done for them when He brought them out of Egypt, and complained about the food that He was miraculously providing for them. He even said that through complaining, they had despised the Lord their God!! As a result, He gave them all the meat they could handle until it was coming out of their noses and was loathsome unto them.
Unthankful people are known to be bitter or unforgiving towards themselves, God or other people. In Matthew 18, we see a picture of the unthankful servant who was forgiven of a great debt, but could not forgive his fellow servant of a much smaller debt. If a person is bitter or hold things against others, then it shows us that they are unthankful for what God has done for them.
Matthew 18:32-35, "Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."
If we don't want to be called "O thou wicked servant" on judgment day, then it is a 100% necessity that we forgive those who have offended us. The Bible is even clear that if we don't love one another (and bitterness is proof of hatred), then we are abiding in spiritual death:
1 John 3:14, "...He that loveth not his brother abideth in death."
Unthankful people are always looking down upon themselves or suffer from low self-esteem. God's Word tells us that we have been created in the very image of God, and knit together by the hands of God in our mother's womb, and when we see ourselves as failures, we are in turn being unthankful for the person that God has made us. If we see ourselves as ugly, then we are claiming that God's creation (our bodies) are ugly. Would you walk upto God and dare tell Him that something He made was ugly? I should hope not! But that's what we do everytime we look at ourselves in the mirror and see ourselves as ugly. The same is true with our minds and intelligence. Despite the vast amount of technology we have today, to create a computer processor chip that will do millions of transactions in mere seconds, yet weighs no more than a quarter, there's nothing that man has created that will even come close to the complexity of the human brain. Far too often, we take lightly the wonderful and dynamic gift that God has given us when we consider ourselves dumb or less than brilliant! Each one of us were created in the very image of God, and gifted in many ways, and it is a crying shame when we refer to ourselves as anything less than downright amazing!
Unthankful people are never satisfied with what they have been given, but always want more. This is an obvious sign of an unthankful heart. Greed is a sin that causes us to become unthankful for the things that God has blessed us with. When we become greedy, we are thinking about things we don't have, rather than things we do have.
Unthankful people don't take care of the things God has given them. Those who are thankful for the good things that God has given them will take good care of those things, whether it be their mind, car, body, spouse, children, job, etc. Taking good care of the things which God has given us shows Him that those things mean something to us and we are thankful for them. Not that we ever should worship the things God gives us, but we should take good care of them.
All of these symptoms should not be found in our lives, but if they exist (and I doubt many of us are immune!), there is something we can do about it. Develop a thankful heart! So the next question is....
A Thankful Heart Part 1: How God sees a thankful heart & Even when things fell apart
> A Thankful Heart Part 2: The seriousness of unthankfulness & Symptoms of an unthankful heart (Think your free from unthankfulness? Thank again!)
A Thankful Heart Part 3: How to become thankful