“Gratefulness – A Command”

“Gratefulness – A Command”

October 14, 2015 Ponder

In the middle of a list of directives for followers of Jesus, the Apostle Paul includes this one: “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:17). I have been pondering this command while considering a concept by an author I respect: Since gratefulness is a command, it follows that ungratefulness is sin.

It has also been suggested that the basic sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden might have been ungratefulness. Do we move away from being grateful when we think we are missing out on something that we deserve? Was the counterfeit god, Satan, telling those first humans that they deserved something better – that Creator God was holding out on them?

From what we know of Satan’s history, he was once the highest of the angelic beings – a significant position given to him by the Creator. Apparently, he decided that was not good enough. He wanted God’s position – and he lost everything. He is doomed forever and will eventually be put away and prevented from doing any further damage to anyone or anything.

But in the Garden of Eden, Satan persuaded Adam and Eve to follow the thinking that got him kicked out of heaven. He led them to believe that there was more to be enjoyed. Can we even imagine why they bought his lie? How could you improve on perfection, provision and the privilege of actually walking with God in that beautiful place!

I have to believe that Adam and Eve understood gratefulness and that they practiced it. The Bible does not tell us, but I think their daily walks with God were filled with expressions of thanksgiving and awe. And I wonder if during the conversation with Satan they lost all thought of gratefulness as they considered what they might possibly be missing. And then they decided they deserved something more.

Today we refer to this as a sense of entitlement. It is the idea that we deserve something that we do not have, so we look for ways to attain it. Most likely that is one reason why Jesus talked about being satisfied with having our needs met for today and not worrying about tomorrow. When we are grateful for what we have, we probably will not demand more.

So this week I am pondering the possibility that whatever was taking place in the minds of Adam and Eve when they were distracted by the tempter, they just might have lost their attitude of gratefulness long enough to feel a sense of entitlement. And in that instant, they failed to believe that Creator God was fully trustworthy. We know what happened to them – and now to us.

Realizing the experience of Adam and Eve in that environment of sinless perfection, I am motivated to focus on gratefulness – for everything. Surrounded by a culture that often forgets gratefulness, I need to be extra aware of the potential for me to become ungrateful. Because when that happens, it is sin.

Pastor Bill Ehmann

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RECENT POSTS

It Is Time

By wvbaptist | June 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

June 3, 2020 It was perhaps 18 years ago that a couple of people suggested I should write a weekly blog. I did not know what a “blog” was, but Ponder with Pastor Bill came out of that idea. It […]

Did Jesus Feel Confined?

By wvbaptist | May 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

May 20, 2020 It feels strange, almost wrong, for me to ask this question: How could the Creator and Controller of the universe be held in captivity by it? I hope I am not dabbling in something inappropriate, but this […]

Dark Cloud – Silver Lining

By wvbaptist | May 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

May 13, 2020 Creator God gives us a statement of beauty and hope when He puts a silver lining around a dark cloud in the sky. He reminds us that the darkness is temporary and there is something more powerful […]

Poder Increíble 

By wvbaptist | May 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

Meditación con el pastor Bill 6 de mayo de 2020 Sentado en mi silla de tratamiento esta semana frente a una ventana que me daba una vista para el Monte St. Helens, cubierto de nieve sobre un fondo azul cielo. […]

Amazing Power

By wvbaptist | May 6, 2020 | 1 Comment

May 6, 2020 My treatment chair this week faced a window that provided a frame for Mount St. Helens, covered with snow against a sky-blue background. It was a magnificent scene, and I had plenty of time to enjoy it […]

Scroll to Top