The spiritual disciple of gratitude is tricky, because despite what Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, there are some things Christians must not be thankful for.
Here are four things to NOT thank God for (but some of us still do).
1. Lord, I thank you that I am not like those sinners.
People do pray this prayer (see Luke 18:11-14). If you ever find yourself thanking God that you are not as sinful as other people, here is a newsflash: You are just as sinful. In fact, with a prayer like this, you may be even worse than those you judge and condemn.
2. Lord, thank you for making me so humble.
Hey, with a prayer like this, don’t give God the credit for your humility. It’s all you, baby! In fact, you should give yourself an award for being so humble. You could get a bumper sticker which says “The most Humble Person in the World” so that everybody can know how humble you are! You could write a book, “The Three Most Humble Men in the World, and How I Led the Other Two to Christ.” Since you are so humble, I am sure it would be a best seller.
By the way, I know Moses supposedly said this about himself, that he was the most humble man who ever lived (Num 12:3), but I don’t believe this is what Moses meant. The word he used can also be translated “troubled” or “afflicted” which makes more sense in context….
3. Lord, thank you for destroying my enemies.
A lot of us were praying this when Osama bin Laden was killed. But other than Osama, maybe you rejoiced when a hateful coworker lost their job, an ex-spouse got cancer, or that annoying neighbor’s car got wrecked.
If God does not delight in the destruction of His enemies, we should not either. We must pray for our enemies, and seek God’s blessing upon them, not pray for their destruction and death.
4. Lord, thank you that Obama got re-elected.
I’m kidding! I’m kidding.
I’m a conservative, and I admit I was pretty disappointed when Obama got elected. But I know that Romney would not have been a perfect president either. Ultimately God is in control, and He knows what is best for the people in this country. So yes, I do thank God that Obama got re-elected, and I look forward to the next four years to see how God uses Obama in His plan for our nation’s future.
This post is part of the November Synchroblog on the Spiritual Practice of Gratitude.
Here is a list of the other contributors. Check them all out!
- Glenn Hager – Gr-atitude
- Carol Kuniholm – Grateful
- Amy Martin – Gratitude in a Culture of Economy
- Leah at Desert Spirit Fire - Living Thanks
- Kathy Escobar - turning our ingrown eyeballs up & out