October 18, 2017

Choosing Gratitude: Chapter 5

Welcome to the Choosing Gratitude study! If you’re not sure what this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more details.

Of Whiners and Worshipers

Nancy points out six key differences between grateful people and ungrateful people — the key being that you can’t be both at the same time, and it is your decision which one you choose. This chapter was packed with quotables, and I’m going to pretty much let them speak for themselves:

1. A grateful person is a humble person, while ingratitude reveals a proud heart. Pride is the seed from which all other sins grow — the first root of those being ingratitude.

“Gratitude is a revealer of the heart, not just a reporter of details.
And among the things it reveals about us most is our level of humility.”

2. A grateful heart is God-centered and others-conscious, while an ungrateful person is self-centered and self-conscious. Or, in other words, a grateful person cares about serving others. An ungrateful person cares only about being served.

“A common end result of ingratitude is the sin of moral impurity.
An ungrateful heart is quick to notice when self is feeling unsatisfied,
and is vulnerable to resorting to sinful acts and behaviors
in an attempt to eliminate pain and experience personal pleasure.”

3.  A grateful heart is a full heart, while an unthankful heart is an empty one. Unthankful people will always be unsatisfied people. Thankful people, on the other hand, will always have more than enough! You see, it doesn’t really matter what the figures say on paper, it matters what your heart says about your possessions/status/well-being. If you are grateful for you have, you will be content. If you are ungrateful, then no matter how much you already have, you will always want more! It’s like a three-legged dog, who is simply overjoyed to be alive rather than despondent about its missing leg — vs. a container with a hole, which is never quite full enough.

“Gratitude is often the only difference between pervasive sadness and pure satisfaction.” {tweet that!}

4. People with grateful hearts are easily contented, while ungrateful people are subject to bitterness and discontent. This kind of goes right along with #3, doesn’t it?

“Ungrateful people tend to hold tightly to their rights.
And when others fail to perform the way they want or expect them to,
they feel justified in making demands and retaliating emotionally.”

5. A grateful heart will be revealed and expressed by thankful words, while an unthankful heart will manifest itself in murmuring and complaining. This is the logical flow of #3-4. Grateful people are content and full, and make known their grateful heart attitudes with thankful words. Ungrateful people are empty, bitter, dissatisfied, and discontent, and make known their ungrateful heart attitudes with unthankful words — complaining, whining, nagging, griping.

“Some grumble at why God put thorns on roses,
while others wisely notice that God has put roses among thorns.”
{tweet that!}

6. Thankful people are refreshing, life-giving springs, while unthankful people pull others down with them into the stagnant pools of their selfish, demanding, unhappy ways. However you view life — through a positive lens or a negative one — rubs off on those around you. If you are always seeing the bad in everything, those around you will have a profoundly negative view of life. But if you joyfully give thanks for all things, in all circumstances, then those around you will begin to do the same.

“How happy a thing it must be to be a Christian!”

My biggest take-away from this chapter? Our choice to whine or worship affects not only our own attitudes, and outlook on life, but also the attitudes of everyone around us.  What power we have to influence others toward gratitude or ingratitude! {tweet about it!}

Choosing Gratitude Study

Now it’s YOUR turn!

  • What did you love in chapter 5? What didn’t you love?
  • Any favorite quotes from this chapter?
  • What key difference stands out in your mind, and why?

Tweet about it! Or send your own tweets using #ChoosingGratitude to share what you’re learning, and invite your friends to join our study! As always, feel free to share your own blog posts about the book in the comment section here! Please include the graphic in your post, with a link back to this blog.

Comments

  1. So, I am not reading the book, but I love that thought….you can’t be grateful and ungrateful at the same time. Simple, yet profound.

  2. I agree, this chapter had lots of good quotes! I can’t pick a favorite, but a couple stood out in particular: “Ingratitude is toxic. It poisons the atmosphere in our homes and workplaces. It contaminates hearts and relationships.” (Yes, ingratitude most assuredly does do these things. So hurtful to ourselves and others.) And: “If you’re sick and tired of living in a home where all the joy and beauty has been sucked out through negative, unappreciative words and attitudes, you can make a change. You can become the kind of person you’ve always wanted to be around. The kind of person who makes Jesus and His gospel winsome to all who come within the reach of your grateful “happy spirit.” ” There is hope!!!!

  3. I have read this book and it’s a wonderful book. Glad to see that someone else likes it also.

  4. I read this book last year to write a review. I intended on going back through it at a slower pace and put it to use. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your posts on this book. I might even chime in!

Trackbacks

  1. […] a post from Sandy Cox, a woman who has greatly encouraged me with her reflections throughout the Choosing Gratitude study. Sandy lives in New Mexico with her husband of 20 years, two dogs, and two cats. She has […]

  2. […] we should be making the choice every single day of the year to worship rather than whine, to offer gratitude to God no matter what. But there’s something special about this time of […]