For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. – 2 Timothy 3:2
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been on a quest to get fit.
After working through a shoulder injury and balancing the realities of middle-aged joints with youthful ambitions, I’m happy with my progress toward that goal. As with any aspiration, fitness can be achieved by anyone willing to put forth consistent effort.
I am truly grateful for a healthy body that generally does what I want it to do, and it’s something I thank God for nearly every day. Good mental and physical health, a basic home gym, wonderful YouTubers who offer free workouts, and my family’s support are all high on my list of blessings.
In the mean time, I’ve had to take on another delightful challenge of middle age: weight gain. And I haven’t always handled the challenge graciously.
I’ve figured out why it’s happening and I’ve learned how to manage it, but if I deviate from that plan even for a day or two, I lose progress.
The scale goes up, and my mood goes down.
I feel frustrated and irritable. Rather than being thankful for God’s abundant daily gifts, I let this one small problem drag me down.
My frustration leads to ingratitude. Left unchecked, ingratitude may lead to self-pity, complaining, bitterness, and worse.
Consider David’s infamous sin.
While studying that portion of David’s life, I discovered something: at the root of David’s sin was ingratitude, as illustrated by Nathan the prophet in 2 Samuel 12.
Nathan told David a story about a rich man who stole, cooked, and ate a poor man’s treasured pet, a lamb which was as a child to the poor man.
When David protested the rich man’s cruelty and injustice, Nathan revealed that the rich man was David himself.
And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; and I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? – 2 Samuel 12:7-9a
If David had been truly thankful for all that God had given him, he never would have coveted another man’s wife or murdered that man.
In light of that discovery, it makes sense to me now that being unthankful is listed in Scripture alongside such sins as selfishness, covetousness, and pride (2 Timothy 3:2).
I’m working on maintaining an attitude of gratitude and keeping life’s little problems in perspective.
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. – Hebrews 13:5
What discourages you? What challenges are you working on? How do you stay thankful? I welcome your insight.