Recently I was listening to a lecture by Heath Lambert in preparation for my ACBC certification exam. Lambert said something that grabbed my attention. He said that gratitude is the opposite to every sin we commit.
James 1:14 shows how every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Lust is wanting what we don’t have, promising you happiness if you follow its promptings. It is a lie because when you obey the lust, you are not satisfied, but want more. It is degenerative, spiraling downward.
Practically every sin we commit is a result of a lack of thankfulness
Gratitude, on the other hand, is headed totally in the other direction. It wants what it already has, and meditates on what it can be th(i)nkful for in its present circumstance. Thankfulness is the antidote for temptation.
In Ephesians 5 Paul gives two strong verses on being thankful. In verse 4, giving thanks is the biblical replacement to wrong behavior. The second mention of being thankful comes later in verse 20 as a description of a person filled with the Spirit.
Lambert continued in the lecture to encourage counselors to sit down with people they are working with and help them write out a list of things to be grateful for. He said to ask the person to put that list in his/her pocket for easy reference.
If you only ever and always would be thankful, you would never sin. Sin struggles to take root and germinate in soil where thankfulness is pervasive. Do you find it motivating that the more thankful you are, the less prone to sin you will be?
When is the last time you made a list of things that you were thankful for?
Heath Lambert. ACBC Foundations Track. Denver, 2015.