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Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. Numbers 11:1-2


In his Money, Possession and Eternity, author Randy Alcorn notes, “Material prosperity can begin as God’s blessing, but when we treat it as a substitute for God, it becomes a curse. Given the lessons of scripture and history, if God were going to curse someone, what more effective means could He use than to heap on the wealth?” Substituting our love of wealth and possessions for God begins with ingratitude. When we forget that all we have is God’s and think all our things are ours, we only want more. Our ingratitude then distorts our perceptions of our world and our relationship to our world and to the God who created us.


·        Ingratitude skews what we think we see. It produces a false sense of autonomy and distorts our thinking about significance. We begin to focus on our circumstances rather than on God's character.

·        Ingratitude overtakes our perceptions of what we’re owed. The Israelites focused on what they perceived God had taken from them rather than on what He had provided in the past and was providing each day.

·        Ingratitude is fatal to the fruit of the Spirit. Ingratitude sucks the nutrients from the soil of the soul. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control wither and die in the presence of ingratitude. (NIV Stewardship Study Bible)


Ingratitude, a silent thief of joy, often hides in the corners of our hearts, snatching away the light of gratitude that should brighten our lives. This affliction afflicts humanity, blinding us to the myriad blessings that surround us daily and leaving us in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction.


Ingratitude is not merely the absence of saying "thank you" but rather a disposition of the soul, a failure to recognize the goodness bestowed upon us. It is the failure to acknowledge the love of those who support us, the sacrifices made on our behalf, and the opportunities that grace our path.


Consider the unassuming beauty of a sunrise painting the sky with hues of gold and pink or the gentle caress of a cool breeze on a sweltering day. These gifts, freely given by nature, are often taken for granted, their magnificence eclipsed by the busyness of our lives.


Yet, ingratitude not only robs us of the joy found in the simple pleasures of life; it also tarnishes our relationships. How often do we fail to appreciate a friend's kindness or a family member's love? How often do we overlook the efforts of those who labor behind the scenes to make our lives better?


Ingratitude erects barriers between us and others, stifling the bonds of connection and understanding. It breeds resentment and discontent, poisoning the wellspring of empathy within us. When we fail to recognize the gifts, we have been given, we diminish ourselves and those around us.


But there is a way out. Gratitude, like a guiding light in the darkness, can dispel the shadows of ingratitude. It is a habit that can be developed, a perspective that can be nurtured. By taking a moment to appreciate our big and small blessings, we can awaken to the abundance that envelops us.


Let us pause to give thanks for the roof over our heads, the food on our tables, and the love that fills our hearts. Let us cherish the relationships that enrich our lives and the experiences that shape our journey. And let us strive to cultivate a spirit of gratitude in all that we do, for it is through gratitude that we find true contentment and joy.


Gratitude Check: (1) In the daily challenges and frustrations of life, think about the character of God—about what He has provided and has done. (2) Do not dwell on what you think you are owed and how your needs should be met. (3) Strive to grow in the fruit of the Spirit and not let ingratitude stunt your growth.


Prayer: Blessed Lord, please give me a heart of gratitude for your faithfulness and providence in all circumstances. May the fruit of the Spirit in my soul not wither because of ingratitude.

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