The Enemy of Gratitude

“Give thanks in all circumstances,” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

PJ Smyth is a pastor and cancer survivor, and he writes that his illness taught him a great deal about that very necessary Christian virtue, thanksgiving:

“The greatest enemy to gratitude is a sense of entitlement.  The moment you think that you are hard done by and deserve more, then you can wave goodbye to thankfulness.  However, circumstances of sickness, death, or disappointment can lend themselves to a sense of entitlement like no other, and so cultivating gratitude and contentment in ‘all circumstances’ can be a stiff challenge in a storm of suffering . . . I have already received from God way more than I deserve . . . Anything better than hell is a bonus, a radical bonus of grace from God to me.  My eternal salvation, every sunrise, every family member, every friend, every mouthful of food, every article of clothing – it’s all fair and square in the I-never-deserved-it-anyway category . .  Yep, I am a grateful man before, during, and after the storm.”  Andrew and Rachel Wilson, The Life We Never Expected (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016), 85.


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