In the first chapter of Romans there is a description of humankind in our worst state. Paul defines the condition by saying this group of individuals were practicing foolish behavior, in a state of degradation, living a lie, subjugated by their lusts, given over to an unnatural mind and displaying the worst behavior humankind is capable of.
What caused this deplorable condition? Paul tells us very candidly that what got people to this place was their lack of thankfulness.
On the surface this seems too simple. I am well aware that being ungrateful is not socially appealing and that it has been proven by psychologists and sociologists to be detrimental to our mental well-being and physical health, but, come on, could it really be the cause of all our social ills? When you think of all the atrocities ever perpetrated by people against other people can we really say, much less believe, that all of that evil had its roots in a lack of thankfulness? Paul seemed to think so.
As I have considered this I have come to realize the truth behind the principle. I realized that when I begin to focus on what I don’t have, rather than being thankful for what God has blessed me with, I tend to become unsettled in my spirit. If unchecked I can become agitated and annoyed by the perceived injustice being perpetrated against me. I tend to become egocentric at that point and begin to scheme how I can acquire what I think will make me happy. I then begin to resent those who have what I don’t. (Read James 4.) Thankfully, somewhere along the way to this point, the conviction of the Holy Spirit kicks in and I repent, reevaluate my situation and seek God’s forgiveness and plan for my life. But what happens if someone doesn’t do that? It seems obvious that the only two choices are to live in a miserable state of bitterness or take matters into your own hands and satisfy your lust no matter what you have to do, and no matter who is harmed in the process. Thus, the afore mentioned atrocities.
With that in mind, I want to live my life with an spirit of gratitude to the glory of God.