Christmas Confessions Day 2 — Thankful or Discontent?

Day2ThankfulorDiscontent

I celebrated Thanksgiving a few short days ago.

How thankful should I be? Infinitely.
How thankful am I? Pathetically.

My confession today is my discontent.

I thank God for all the good with my lips, but my greedy heart clamors for better

  • A better couch
  • A prettier face
  • A heftier bank account
  • A cleaner house
  • A more successful blog

On and on it goes.

Anyone on the face of the earth could find reason to envy me… that’s how blessed I am. But am I truly grateful?

Only sometimes.

In my ebook Take Courage: Choosing faith on my journey of fear, I wrote about giving thanks even in the midst of darkness:

More than a distracting mantra, thanks-giving is a sacrifice. We lay down
our rights for “more.” Yes, we realize our neediness, and we remember
that God knows too; yet, in the middle of suffering we take our eyes off
ourselves and acknowledge all we already possess. “I will offer to You the
sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the Name of the Lord” (Psalm
116:17 NKJV).

Furthermore, we are told that giving thanks “in all circumstances” is
indeed “God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18 NIV).
Gratitude is an act of faith; we are telling God we remember what He has
done, we see what He is doing, and we trust Him with our future.
“Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV), and
without gratitude, it will be impossible for us to recognize God’s hand at
work.

Our enemy knows the transformative power of gratitude. Think about how hard he works (or doesn’t have to work) to stir the discontent in our hearts — especially at this time of year.

I used to be surprised by the inclusion of “ungrateful” in this list of sins, but as I look at the world around me (and the deceitful heart inside of me) it makes more and more sense:

For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power… (2 Timothy 3:2-3)

My discontent, my lack of gratitude denies the power of God in my life.

Lord Jesus, I confess to you my ingratitude. Please forgive me of this lust for more, for better. Turn my eyes away from “greener pastures” that are only the enemy’s mirage, and turn my focus instead to you and the blessings I often ignore. 

For my friend who is struggling because her burden is so great today, please show her your relentless love — the love the changes everything and merits our eternal gratitude.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

*How are you battling discontent and keeping a thankful heart today?

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2 thoughts on “Christmas Confessions Day 2 — Thankful or Discontent?

  1. Joseph Walter December 4, 2013 at 11:03 am Reply

    Jennifer,

    I had to chuckle when I read your list of things your heart would like – because I could identify with most of them! You asked how we dealt with this – By reminding myself of the thousands of people in the Philippines who don’t have a house, or anything it. And all the people in the States who recently lost everything – And when I would like more money in the bank, I remind myself that if I complain about that, I’m telling God that He hasn’t treated us fairly – isn’t dong a good job of taking care of us. As to a cleaner house…..after all these years, I realize that I am me, and my house isn’t going to look like my sister-in-law’s, because she has to have a perfect house or she isn’t content, which is admirable for her, and I admire her, but I am not her!. This all helps me to be content! Thank you for your interesting posts! Love, Jan

    • Jennifer Ebenhack December 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm Reply

      Glad you could relate, Jan. 🙂 And thanks so much for your perspective on those issues… You are SO right!!!

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