The Psalm 1 image of a blessed life is an environment of Grace and Truth that roots us in life that grows. What we are focusing on tonight at The Grove Fellowship is gratitude. We will follow the cycle we pointed out in Colossians 3.
Treasure / Put Off / Put On / Live Out
As we reflect on God’s truth revealed in his creation and in his word we “treasure” what he says is valuable. We decisively “put off” whatever keeps us from that treasure. With confidence we “put on” what God has supplied for us in Christ regarding what we are treasuring. This active exchange, rejecting what is not best for God’s best, is something we do consciously. We trust in truth and grace truth such that we confess, abide and flourish. The result? The fruit of God’s Spirit.
Think – What is so great about gratitude?
Be – Choose to align with and to delight in gratitude everywhere you see it.
Do – Collect examples of gratitude to keep the vision before you as you foster it in yourself.
Put Off Ingratitude
“I believe the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground
What is wrong with ingratitude? There are a variety of assumptions that have to be made to validate ingratitude. Essentially goodness has to be seen as an entitlement. It is very easy to minimize our perspective and to make apparently sound arguments that we essentially deserve all sorts of goodness. By expanding our perspective regarding life as a gift things can change without undermining quests for just and fair circumstances. A basic practice of “putting off” includes confessing and renouncing ingratitude where you do find it in yourself.
Put On Gratitude
“In everything be thankful (This is God’s will for you in the Messiah Jesus)” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
By memorizing such a simple and straightforward passage we are able to maintain our basic perspective. Knowing that it is God’s will for you to be thankful does not remove the challenge of meditating on “why?” and “how?”. There are very deep and subtle truths where justice and mercy meet that are not always intuitive or obvious. Our goal is not to “fake it ’till you make it”. We are pursuing actual appreciation; genuine awareness of grace, even in difficult situations.
Live Out Gratitude
As our thinking is changed through mindful reflection on God’s revelation and his gift of life, our appreciation of gratitude deepens. It becomes part of our root identity. Physically we take on a posture of gratitude in our expressions and choices of how we handle opportunities and challenges. Relationally giving and receiving without indebtedness, but out of delight for beauty and goodness becomes second nature. Spiritually we are free from pride and shame cycles to live in acceptance and contentedness.
Gratitude is good. Gratitude is good for us. Let us grow in gratitude.