Day 5 INTRODUCTION: We started a series of short posts about how the enemy proliferates our fleshly desires and causes our downfall. Identifying each trait and breaking them down into 7 parts to make it easier for you to understand and protect your loved ones from falling prey. Our intent is not to create fear or pass judgement on those with medical conditions but simply to state the truth as presented in the Holy Bible. We are passionate about your welfare, emotional, and physical wellbeing. We welcome your request for prayers, individually or in a group setting. God bless you and me.
UNTHANKFUL DEFINITION: Not feeling or showing pleasure, relief, or gratitude. Unappreciative or ingratitude.
How many of us really thank God for what we have and what He is doing to create us in His image (Genesis 1:26)? How many of us thank Him for every breath we take and for every action He takes for our benefit? How many of us gratefully sing His praises and glorify His holy name when He answers our prayers—or for that matter, even when He "seemingly" does not?
Though you admit that thanksgiving is a virtue, are you as ready to admit that unthankfulness is a sin? Perhaps we all need to confess the sin of failing to say “thank You” to our God.
"Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come." - Matthew 12:31 - 32, NKJV
1. Unthankfulness is a direct violation of the will and Word of God. The Bible commands: “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
2. Unthankfulness is also a failure to follow the example of biblical saints. In the Psalms we see how frequently King David, that sweet singer of Israel, breaks forth in outbursts of thanksgiving. When Daniel heard the decree, that all who prayed to any other god than the king were to be cast into a den of lions; we read that “He knelled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did before time.” How many of us could sing a song of thanksgiving to the obbligato of the lions’ roar?
3. When Paul was in the midst of the storm, and the doom of the ship seemed certain, we read that he encouraged the sailors to eat food.
“And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten.” - Acts 27:33 NKJV
4. Again, unthankfulness is a failure to follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. Before He fed five thousand and on another occasion the four thousand, He took the loaves and fishes and gave thanks before He gave to His disciples and they to the multitude. Doubtless many families will on Thanksgiving Day sit down to a table laden with food and never stop to give thanks to God, the Giver of it all.
UNTHANKFULNESS, REJECTING GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY
Unthankfulness does not recognize the sovereignty of God. Since “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,” what right have we to call things our own? And what right do we have to use God’s property without recognizing, at least by word of mouth, His ownership?
Unthankfulness is a failure to admit our dependence upon God. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” “Every good gift and every perfect gift… cometh down from the Father of Lights.”
Think what suffering would result if God were to withhold His mercies but for a week. How sad it is that many show more gratitude to a fellow creature than to God the Creator and Sustainer of all. Have you ever noted the relative size of your “thank you’s”? We give a strong, emphatic “thank you” to a friend. We give a faint “thank you” to one of our own family. But when it comes to Almighty God, from the alms-basket of whose providence we live day by day, many fail to say “thank you” at all. Surely the law of common courtesy condemns us for such a course.
Having seen that unthankfulness is a sin, we call your attention, in the second place, to the tragic results of unthankfulness.
These results are graphically set forth in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. Did you ever observe that unthankfulness is one of the two causes for God’s awful indictment to the human race as found in that same chapter? After having stated that man had an adequate revelation of God’s eternal power and Deity in the beginning, and is therefore without excuse; we read this significant statement:
“because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” - Romans 1:21-22 NKJV
Because man failed to praise God for what He is, and thank Him for what He did; man brought upon himself all the tragic results of idolatry. He became vain (empty) in his reasoning, darkened in his heart, foolish in his actions, idolatrous as to religion, morally corrupt and filled with all kinds of iniquity.
Today we need the fearful warning which this chapter gives. God is neither named nor recognized in many homes, family altars are broken down, parents are no longer obeyed, God is not honored, and lawlessness abounds. Sad indeed, is the nation, the people, the family, or the individual who loses a sense of God.
We have seen the sin of unthankfulness and the tragic results thereof; may we look, in the third place, at —the many objects for which we may express our thanks to God and thus avoid committing the sin of ingratitude.
THE ACCOUNTS OF KORAH AND SATAN
Two biblical examples will illustrate this attitude of ingratitude. The first appears in Numbers 16:1-2 NKJV:
"Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown."
Notice that men is written in italics. The translators, not knowing what to do with the verb took at the end of the clause, supplied it to finish the thought. Men is plural, but took is in the singular, so it cannot apply to all these men. Took expresses the action of the singular subject of the sentence, Korah. Young's Literal Translation says, "Korah . . . takes both Dathan and Abiram. . . ." Interestingly, the New American Standard version renders it, "Korah . . . took action." The sense, however, is the same: Korah took these men against Moses.
They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?" . . .
Then Moses said to Korah, "Hear now, you sons of Levi: Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also? Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord." (Numbers 16:3, 8-11)
This is an example of a person who is dissatisfied with what he has and stirs up others because of his ingratitude for what God had given him already.
The consequences of Korah's "taking action" are clear: God destroyed all these who rose up against Moses and Aaron—against Him. Does this pattern look familiar? It should. It is the age-old and often repeated sin of pride manifesting itself in ingratitude.
Satan did the same thing (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17). It was not enough for him to be a covering cherub at God's throne. It was not enough to have the lordship over the earth and one-third of the angels (Revelation 12:3). No, he wanted to resemble or compare to the Most High (Isaiah 14:14)! His pride led him to go to war against God, a battle he soundly lost (Luke 10:18). Revelation 12:7-10 prophesies that his pride will drive him to attempt another coup d'état before Christ's return.
This is where ingratitude or unthankfulness can ultimately lead a person into total rebellion against God. It lends to an individual feeling a false sense of worth, that he deserves more. If not checked, it becomes a plague of discontent that soon infects others, as Satan's ingratitude spread to other angels.
If this kind of attitude lands us in trouble, just what should our attitude be? A truly humble and grateful person will never rebel against God because he knows that even the very breath he breathes is a gift and calls for praisefull thanksgiving to the Father. Sharing this thanksgiving with others in the church works like soothing oil that helps to heal the body.
SETTING EXAMPLES: PAUL IN PHILLIPPI
Acts 16 contains a clear example of what God expects from us. As the chapter opens, Paul and his companions are traveling through the cities of Asia Minor, delivering the Word of God, and the people heartily receive them (verse 4). They establish new churches in the faith, and the number of converts increases daily (verse 5). God's Holy Spirit directly leads them in the work (verses 6-7), keeping them from certain areas that were Peter's responsibility (see I Peter 1:1).
In Acts 16:9-10, Paul has a vision in which a Macedonian pleads with him for help, and Paul and his companions conclude that God wants them to preach the gospel there. Macedonia, a Roman province, lay north of Greece. Paul began preaching first to those there who kept the Sabbath, and Lydia became his first convert (verses 13-15). He seemed to be making good but labored progress.
However, a woman possessed by a demon begins to follow Paul and his party, calling them "servants of the Most High God" (verses 16-17). Though this is true, it greatly distresses Paul because the Jews might conclude that he consorted with soothsayers, unlawful according to Leviticus 19:31; 20:6; and Deuteronomy 18:9-14. From their point of view, the Gentiles might consider the religion Paul preached to be as pagan as all the other religions of the time. Thus, Paul commands the demon to leave the woman in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 16:18).
Her employers, who made quite a profit by her fortune telling, are not pleased because her supernatural abilities disappeared with the demon. So they haul Paul and Silas before the city courts (verse 18), saying:
"These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe." Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. (verses 20-24)
Unlike the Jews, the Romans were not limited to 39 stripes, so the beating Paul and Silas took was severe. The stocks they had to endure afterward were two large pieces of wood pierced with holes at different distances, designed to restrain the feet and produce pain.
Confined to the pitch-dark bowels of the prison, Paul and Silas now lie on a filthy floor on their bloody, shredded backs, their legs painfully distended. One might think they would have every right to complain about how unfairly the Philippians had treated them—or at least to spend all their time beseeching God to relieve them of their pain. Notice verse 25, however: "But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them"!
Not only were they singing praises of thanksgiving to God, but they were also doing it loud enough for the other prisoners to hear them! Just as James says in James 5:13: "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms." They were praying for their affliction, but they were also singing songs of praise to God from hearts filled with thanksgiving!
PSYCHOLOGY: Unthankfulness causes depression
Recently, a study showed about how 25 percent of all U.S. women suffer from some form of depression, and that more than 12 million women will suffer some form of clinical depression in their lifetime.
There is an epidemic of pessimism, anxiety and hopelessness that has erupted in the United States and beyond. This is par for the course for any sociological system that is not built upon being thankful to our Creator.
1. You expect the same rules that apply to others shouldn’t apply to you. For example, other people might need to start at the bottom and work their way up but you shouldn’t have to.
2. You feel massively put upon when other people ask you for small favors but expect that when you ask people for favors it’s no big effort.
3. You expect other people to be more interested in you and what’s on your agenda than you're interested in them and what’s on their agenda. You see your own interests as more interesting than other people’s, and see your goals/dreams as more valid or important than other people’s.
4. You disregard rules that are intended for everyone’s comfort. For example, you ignore signs to please not put your feet on the chairs at the movies.
5. You freeload. For example, you use bittorrent programs to download movies rather than paying for them. Or, you listen to public radio all the time but never donate during donation drives.
6. You inconvenience others without thinking. For example, you cancel appointments or reservations repeatedly. Or, you make plans with friends and then bail on those plans without considering that your friend may have organized other plans around fitting you in. Or, you run into a store 1 minute before closing without thinking about the fact you’ll be delaying the shop assistant from getting home on time. You think “it’s only 5 minutes” without considering that the assistant may have somewhere they need to be.
7. You think it’s OK to upset or offend other people. You see people who like to keep the peace as weak.
8. You cheat in environments that are based on reciprocity. For example, you ask loads of questions in your favorite internet forum, but you don’t spend the same amount of time answering other’s questions.
Because of their immense sense and expectation of superior entitlement, narcissists are ungrateful and unthankful for whatever they have been given in life. Because they regard themselves as “special”, they seriously believe that they are entitled to have whatever they are given.
Generally, with such an exaggerated sense of self importance, their actual levels of achievements are not in accord with their fantasy. Because the narcissist is addicted to excessive amounts of admiration, they come to expect preferential treatment when dealing with others. In short, they live in a world of fantasy, a world in which they are brilliant, powerful and successful in every way imaginable. They expect people to dance around then, so why should they be thankful for anything; actually, it is others who should be thankful to be in the service of such resplendence.
If one is silly enough to tell them that they are “ungrateful”, they will defend their right to their entitlement to the end. They will be outraged by your criticism, and they will insist on a full repayment from you before they will ever consider forgiving you, and if they don’t get it, they will hold a grudge on principle, their need for revenge will be high, and you are likely to be alienated.
Knowing God's TRUTH and ABIDING by it is the TRUE calling and PURPOSE for all believers. Friends, we offer fellowship to seek, gain, repent and share the WORD of GOD. Would you bow your head and pray with us?
Please stay tuned for the next part of this series that will cover: UNLOVING.
God bless you and your family. May you keep on guard and protect your heart and minds from the slick enemy who is always on the prowl to grab an unsuspecting soul. Please share your thoughts and views in the comment box below and share it with your family and friends. You can share your love and save someone from falling into a trap.
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