Being Thankful During Ungrateful Days

It’s November, and even though most of us consider this a Christmas pt. 1, Thanksgiving is still a thing and while I won’t argue with the history around it, this month is still a time when people turn their attention towards being thankful.

Thankfulness isn’t something I’m fantastic or even decent at.

Growing up (and still occasionally) my mom had my siblings and I list five, ten, or more things we were thankful for when we were complaining or being negative, and while I have so many things to list, my mind would always go blank when told to make a list. Yes, I’ll acknowledge the fact that it was and is horrible of me, but still, in my negative state, it truly felt like there was nothing and that everything was going wrong.

I wish I could say grew out of that.

Recently, I’ve been struggling a lot with being positive and being grateful for all that I have in this life. I’ve always struggled with feeling really negatively about myself and that negative outlook has spread to other things like the disease it is. I had a week of ungratefulness. I wish I could say that I truly fought through it, but honestly, I started to give up until my mom tough loved me out of it.

It was like I had been in a bad dream that I finally woke up from only to see a lot of things I had been working on falling apart after I neglected them.

I can’t do this constantly, I realized. I can’t lose whole weeks or even months because I forget to keep sight of the good.

I have to be stronger, I have to fight back harder.

Maybe you’re like me in some way, big or small, and also struggle with not being thankful, then this post is for you and for us.

“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”-Colossians 2:6-7

As someone who didn’t grow up in the church, I was blown away by how amazing the Lord and His church is, and how glad I was to be a part of it. Every Sunday, Wednesday, and every time we gathered together as Christians, I would look around and be so grateful to be there, I felt like I didn’t deserve it, and it was so overwhelming and humbling and I felt so much joy.

I’ve met many people who grew up in Christian homes, and I was taken aback by the ones who didn’t seem to realize the beauty of it all or the magnitude of the truth and how lucky we are to know it.

However, like so many of those people I have met, I too have become complacent, forgetful, and ungrateful.

How do we fix this?

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”-Colossians 3:15-17

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..”

I don’t know about you, but I am not always good at hiding God’s word in my heart (Psalm 119:11) or reflecting on it throughout my day as I need to.

I have a note card stuck above my doorknob with Proverbs 7:2-3 written on it (yes, the notecard has for sure seen better days by now, but that’s not the point). I placed it above my doorknob so that every time I reached out to leave my room I would be reminded to keep God’s commandments and live, to bind them on my fingers, and to write them on the table of my heart.

Sadly, that notecard has become something I no longer take note of, but the point past Grace was trying to remind herself of remains:

We need God’s word. We need His word dwelling richly in us, because His word is life and truth, and part of the truth is that we have so much to be thankful for, we have so much to rejoice over.

“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”-Philippians 2:16

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I find that every time I start to be negative and ungrateful is because I have stopped dwelling on the word of God, I have stopped clinging to it, and I have started forgetting the gift of God and the gifts of God.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”-Ephesians 2:8-9

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”-James 1:17

Thankfulness can be challenging at times, but I know we both get out hearts back in the right place.

Let’s start by not only acknowledging all the things the Lord has done for us, but praising Him for it.

“Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”-Psalm 106:1

We’ve got this. ❤