Any day you wake up and can’t find at least one thing to be thankful for is a bad day and the perfect time to ask God for forgiveness! Yes, this is a perfect example of “the audacity of showing ingratitude toward God!”Essentially, the situation reeks of a spirit of ungratefulness. Why is it so hard to give God the Glory every chance we get! Is it too much to ask to be thankful for everything He provides, since without Him you would have and be absolutely nothing?
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” Romans 11: 33
The act of showing gratitude for everything extends to people, family, and friends because sadly, sometimes we take them for granted too. The end result coupled with repercussions for taking people for granted is an unwelcomed one. Seeing those we love, depend on, or look up to fade off into the sunset can cause deep-seated sorrow and regret. Even if you have never asked this question out loud, I’ll bet the question has crossed your mind. The question is “where are all my friends? Especially the ones I took for granted! I guess God does work in mysterious ways, and this sure feels like a mystery to me.
The Audacity of Ingratitude Toward God!
In the Book Genesis 27, we learn about the consequences of greed, selfishness, intentional deceit, and pitfalls commonly encountered when a mother or father exhibits marked favoritism toward one sibling over another. The story begins when ailing father Issac realizes an imminent fate is upon him. Before he goes by way of the earth Isaac wants to bless his eldest son Esau. Isaac also wanted his eldest son Esau to prepare his last meal.
The Bible tells us Esau was cheated out of his blessings by trickery and deceit set in motion by his mother Rebekah who favored his younger son Jacob. Rebekah concocted a plan to fool Issac into giving Jacob Esau’s blessing. Here, we see a clear example of a mother intrusively coercing and corrupting her son for selfish reasons. Mother Rebekah was obsessed with Jacob receiving the blessing her older son Esau was entitled to because she loved Jacob more. Perhaps some are thinking, “how could a mother love one child more than another?” Well, sadly, it happens more times than we would care to admit.
The Audacity of Ingratitude Toward God!
However, I see a bigger problem here. How about “a mother teaching her son that it is okay to take something he is not entitled to, or that does not belong to him?” Even worse, to teach that same son how to make it happen is disturbing. Parents are supposed to raise a child up in the way he or she should go, right? “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Heaven forbid if he or she does not depart from perfecting and engaging in behavior that results in cheating, stealing, and tricking another into relinquishing undeserved things, power, or trust.
We do live in an “instant everything world.” Jacob did something very evil, when he conspired to trick his father, in order to steal his brother’s blessing. Just as bad though, are Rebekah’s actions. As mothers, we have a responsibility to raise our children up in the way they should go. Jacob was the youngest son. Based on the story, his mother devised the entire plan to deceive Isaac. I can’t help but wonder who Jesus would hold most responsible for carrying out the act. Jacob wanted something that wasn’t his, but his mother not only gave him the idea to take it, but she also showed him how to get it.
The bible tells us to be like children in God’s sight. Yet, Paul instructs us to not be like children. Knowing and comprehending God’s Word helps us synthesize Scripture using tools like Parables and adaptable stories to achieve understanding. It seems that Paul is talking about spiritual maturity, but when God speaks about being like children, He is talking about spiritual obedience. Usually, the quality of a decision depends on one’s maturity level, both spiritually and emotionally. To realize the best outcomes, obeying God’s Word is crucial. In order to hear from God, the self cannot overshadow the relevance of God. I find that I have to be still and stop trying to control outcomes, for God to work in my life.
As parents, we should always pay close attention to the lessons we teach the children we bring into this world. God lends them to us to love, nurture, protect and train up in the way he or they should go. No child should be trained up to go in the wrong direction for any reason. In some cases no matter how well we train up offspring, some tend to deviate, but we must still do what God ordered us to do. The reason we do what the Father orders us to do is that He is Lord, and because it is never too late for someone to turn around, change, even demonstrate they heard you all along in the past when you were telling them the right thing to do!
This is what the Scripture is referring to when it says in Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) “even when he is old he will not depart from it.” In other words, just because a child goes astray does not always mean they had no training. Many are like us, the parents, who did what they wanted to do in some situations until they realized what they were doing was wrong or self-destructive. Yes, sometimes people insist on experiencing certain things personally. It’s human nature! It is also the only way to mature and develop certain skills necessary to survive.
Who among us cannot say they’ve never made a mistake, taken a wrong turn, agonized over unfulfilled desires, wants, or perceived needs, or failed due to making a poor decision?
How many of those same people can say “I didn’t learn anything from that experience, so I’m going to keep making the same mistake over and over again?” Most likely, the answer to that question is pretty much none.
Some children tell stories about being treated differently because they were not as pretty or good-looking as their sibling(s), not as smart, born a girl instead of a boy, or vice versa. While these examples may sound too petty to become prominent causes of family dysfunction and self-destruction, I’m here to tell you you are dead wrong. Every bad habit, belief, or conception began somewhere, and it was not in a mother’s womb. The story always begins outside the womb, within walls, around dinner tables, in front of TVs, at school, at work, and yes, in the church. Imagine this! A child living a lifetime hating who he or she is, and habitually longing for ways to change the way God made them. Right here we see an example of how seeds of discontentedness, ungratefulness, and ingratitude can develop. The sad thing about this example is in most cases those who plant the seed don’t realize they did so. Even worse, most fail to recognize the ways they fertilize and make the seeds grow.
Isaac’s blessing intended for his eldest son was precious, valuable, and predestined. In error younger son Jacob mistakenly believed a blessing he stole would perform as though it had been given. His mother planted the seed, watered it, and watched it grow because she too was ungrateful. Her sin of ingratitude was passed on to the son. Initially, it appeared Jacob would live happily-ever-after off the stolen blessing but in time he would come to realize the stolen blessing transformed into a curse.
During Isaac’s era, and decades later, firstborns inherited the father’s blessing. While firstborn sons looked forward to the ceremonious occasion, sometimes younger siblings harbored resentment. After all who doesn’t want a blessing? In The Book of Genesis, Chapter 27, we learn a valuable lesson about various consequences of engaging in “theft by deception.”
Theft by deception is a distinctive brand of thievery because it entails an act of devising. It is also fueled by ungratefulness, a burning desire to gain more than one is due or entitled to. Again in this situation, Rebekah, Jacob’s mother devised a plan to help her son take something that did not belong to him. The two, Jacob and Rebekah conspired to trick Isaac, Jacob and Esau’s father, so they could steal brother Esau’s blessing.
When Jacob became an adult, something very dear, and priceless, was snatched out of his life, his beloved and esteemed son, Joseph. This was the beginning of the curse. Read more about the curse and ramifications affecting both mother and son Jacob:
The story of Isaac, Rebekah, Esau, and Jacob provides profuse proof of the power of persuasion, the danger of weak faith, and the type of undesired outcomes possible when a person becomes selfish, greedy, and privileged, willing to do anything to get what they want.
The caveat in Genesis 27 is mother Rebekah is the initiator and background officiate of the scheme to cheat Esau her oldest son out of his inheritance. Rebekah’s influence over her son Jacob is profoundly resonated through directives given and executed by younger son Jacob. Just think, what if Rebekah had put all that energy into directing Jacob to do something good?
Even though Jacob recognized the error of his eventual actions he did not regress. Mother Rebekah literally exhibits a sense of ultimate authority over Jacob. In this story, Rebekah portrays a mother having an unhealthy degree of rule over her younger son. In some instances, the argument can be made that Rebekah wanted Issac’s blessing for Jacob more than Jacob wanted it for himself. We see evidence of this in Genesis 27: 12-13. “
“My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver, and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.” Genesis 27: 12-13
Rebekah was willing to devise a plan to make Issac believe Jacob was Esau by disguising him in various ways. She switched clothing to transfer Esau’s body smell to Jacob, and lastly, she thought up a way to make Jacob’s hands and neck feel like Esau’s. ” And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:” Genesis 27:16
How far would you go?
“But Rebekah overheard what Isaac had said to his son Esau. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game, she said to her son Jacob, “Listen. I overheard your father say to Esau, ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare me a delicious meal. Then I will bless you in the Lord’s presence before I die.’ … Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. I’ll use them to prepare your father’s favorite dish. Then take the food to your father so he can eat it and bless you before he dies.”
“So Jacob took the food to his father. “My father?” he said …“It’s Esau, your firstborn son. I’ve done as you told me. Here is the wild game. Now sit up and eat it so you can give me your blessing.” Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so I can touch you and make sure that you really are Esau.” So Jacob went closer to his father, and Isaac touched him. “The voice is Jacob’s, but the hands are Esau’s,” Isaac said. But he did not recognize Jacob, because Jacob’s hands felt hairy just like Esau’s. So Isaac prepared to bless Jacob. “But are you really my son Esau?” he asked. “Yes, I am,” Jacob replied.”
“Then Isaac said, “Now, my son, bring me the wild game. Let me eat it, and then I will give you my blessing.” So Jacob took the food to his father, and Isaac ate it. He also drank the wine that Jacob served him. Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come a little closer and kiss me, my son.” So Jacob went over and kissed him. And when Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he was finally convinced, and he blessed his son.” (Genesis 27:5-19, 21-27)
During Isaac’s era, and decades later, firstborns inherited the father’s blessing. While firstborn sons looked forward to the ceremonious occasion, sometimes younger siblings harbored resentment. Who doesn’t want a blessing? In The Book of Genesis, Chapter 7, we learn an invaluable lesson about various consequences of perpetrating “theft by deception.” Theft by deception is a distinctive brand of thievery because it entails devising. In this situation, Rebekah, Jacob’s mother devised a plan to help her son take something that did not belong to him.
The two, Jacob and Rebekah conspired to trick Isaac, Jacob and Esau’s father, so they could steal brother Esau’s blessing. They succeeded in taking Esau’s blessing, but in the end, the blessing became a curse. When Jacob became an adult, something very dear, and priceless, was snatched out of his life, his beloved and esteemed son, Joseph. This was the beginning of the curse.
Ungratefulness a Precurse of Ingratitude
Who among us can honestly say they’ve never felt or behaved as though they were ungrateful? Rebekah’s actions are a clear example of how a spirit of ingratitude transpires into an ungrateful heart. While unintentional, I must admit there have been times when I did not exhibit a grateful spirit. Why?
Well, the only reason I can come up with that feels honest is, that I was truly unappreciative and ungrateful. For some reason, I believed I deserved more, something different or less than what I had received. The kicker is, God had given me what I asked for but I couldn’t see it, and didn’t recognize the gift for what it was. Perhaps it was because He did not wrap the gift in the kind of wrapping paper I expected. The Father does that sometimes.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55: 8-9
The situation reminded me of a story I read years ago about a man telling a story about a story he read about a beautiful house on a hill, surrounded by rolling meadows, flanked by a beautiful flowing river, flowerbeds, a beautiful yellow front door, and windchimes, just chocked full of character. There was no photo or address provided, but the town was given and the writer said it was one of a kind and in a picture-perfect town, which turned out to be the man’s hometown. Yes, the article said the home was in the man’s hometown. The unknown writer’s vivid, poetic manifestation and scenic description of a house he once passed by mesmerized the reader, especially since it was in his own hometown.
After reading the article and the unknown writer’s description of the property the man thought to himself, “I want that house, I’ve always wanted a house perched on a hill, near a river, and surrounded by beautiful greenery such as the rolling meadows the writer described in the magazine article.” So the man set out to find the house. After scouring his town, coming up empty, he decided to go back home thinking the writer may have gotten the town the house was in wrong.
As the man drove back home and got closer to his house he noticed things he had never noticed before. And, the closer he got he realized he was driving up a hill to get to his house, which was surrounded by rolling meadows, and at the very bottom of the hill lay the river where he regularly fished for his dinner. Within minutes of opening his eyes to the Gift God had already given him, the man realized the house the unknown writer described was his.
The man already had what he was searching for. He had something special, something wonderful, something unique and beautiful in the palm of his hands and didn’t even know it because he had come to take God’s goodness for granted. Because the man didn’t realize he had something special, as a gift from God, he began to long for something new, different, and in his mind something much better. He became ungrateful, exemplifying a spirit of ingratitude toward God out of greed and selfishness. Ingratitude or ungratefulness is a sin!
God knows that money is on our mind a lot. So much so that Jesus spoke and taught about money more than he did any other topic! God knows that greed will destroy us. If we become focused on accumulating more wealth, we become focused and driven by greed and are never content.
Yours truly has been there done that, just like this man. On more than one occasion the Father blessed me with something I prayed for and later took for granted. Yes, I could not see the forest for the dark one’s trees planted with seeds of discontentedness. I got the house but didn’t like the lot. He gave me the space but I complained about the layout. Lastly, He made a way out of no way and I took the path He laid for granted as though I already knew the way.
I am so grateful to God for showing me the error of my thoughts, and ways and for allowing an ungrateful spirit to infiltrate my mind, body, and soul. I’m so ashamed! I feel stupid because I didn’t recognize signs of behavior that exudes ungratefulness or ingratitude.
Got Questions.org, refers to ungratefulness as ingratitude/unthankfulness?
“The Bible says much about gratitude as well as the lack of it. God knows how we are made, and He designed us to thrive when we are humble, moral, and thankful. When we are arrogant, immoral, and ungrateful, we cannot have fellowship with Him, nor can we experience all it means to be created in the image of God.”
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6
One of the greatest obstacles to becoming more like Jesus is an ungrateful heart. An ungrateful heart causes separation between God and us. After all, how can one say “I love God with all my heart,” yet find it difficult to appreciate all He has done? It seems like no matter how many blessings He bestows upon us we hunger for more. We hunger for more as though we deserve more. Without justification, our minds tell us to reject that which has already been given for something we feel we are entitled to. This behavior manifests from leaning on our own narrow understanding of life. Because we do not understand we reject the Father’s spiritual gifts and infinite wisdom. Ungratefulness is a rebounding sin that channels harsh fallout with God. Ungratefulness runs parallel to several other rebellious acts mentioned in the Bible.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 NKJV
Remember, every day you wake up find at least one thing to be thankful for so God will continue to give you a clean heart, and a grateful spirit. There is no wrong time to be on the right side of God. Seek the Father’s guidance and approval in everything you do. Wear God’s Shield of Armour so when the spirit of temptation, greed, ungratefulness, ingratitude, jealousy, envy, strife, lust, evil, deception, trickery, and the like strike, neither can penetrate.
There is no better time than this moment to ask God for forgiveness! We all need it because nobody is perfect. People are naturally hungry for more of anything they believe they deserve whether justified or not! Stop, look, listen and”Give God the Glory!
Be thankful for Everything, because without Him you would have absolutely nothing.” Keep the Word of God hidden in your heart so you don’t get detoured.
David’s Song of Thanksgiving
On that day David first delivered this psalm into the hand of Asaph and his brethren, to thank the Lord:
Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
O seed of Israel His servant,
You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!
He is the Lord our God; 1 Chronicles 16:1