Gratitude Does NOT Mean Complacency
The American Thanksgiving Holiday is coming up this week and that got me thinking about "gratitude". As I pondered, my thoughts continued to focus on situations where the "modern Christian" has turned complacent when labeling their attitude as grateful.
I'll explain in more detail but let's first begin by defining both words:
Gratitude - a feeling of appreciation or thanks. The state of being thankful.
Complacency - self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.
- an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction.
I agree with the verse above - that we need to always be thankful. However, sometimes we can take that characteristic to the extreme. I'm sure we have all done this at some point: we are focusing so much on one thing (being thankful all the time) that it's almost as if we have blinders on and can't see what's going on around us.
The following are three examples of how the "modern Christian" has become complacent:
1. "My life is good, so what I am hearing about hardships happening to others must not be true." (I call this the head-in-sand attitude).
"The truth is so disturbing to me that I cannot handle knowing that this is reality for some people around me."
2. "I don't want to offend anyone, so instead of confronting, I will just ignore the sin and try to find a portion or detail that I can praise and be thankful."
3. "I need to be meek, mild and be polite at all times. I must not stand up and speak out because then I would come across as nasty, boisterous and angry."
I am reminded of what Jesus did when he found out what was going on in the churches (or temples) of his day (see Scripture above).
Here is a list of what Jesus did in that situation:
- He drove out those buying and selling
- He overturned the tables of the money changers
- He overturned the benches of those selling doves
- He would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts
- He preached about what had occurred
- He offended or angered the Pharisees and Scribes (chief priests and teachers of the law)
- In the evening, He left that city
This is how I think the "modern complacent Christian" would have reacted:
- the modern Christian would find a back room for commerce to continue
- the modern Christian would suggest making the tables smaller and less conspicuous
- the modern Christian would use a corner of the church gym to allow the selling of doves
- the modern Christian would not allow merchandise to be carried during the service but anytime before or after the service would be acceptable
- the modern Christian would tweak the sermon so that nobody would be offended
- the modern Christian would continue to compromise so that they would never have to stand up and possibly leave the congregation altogether
We are not supposed to just sit around and hope that things will get better some day
- God gave us His Spirit - a Spirit of POWER, of LOVE & of SELF-DISCIPLINE.
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