May is a month of much anticipation and joy for many graduates, high school or otherwise. Joining this flock of ecstatic achievers is my niece who will graduate from high school today. She’s a beautiful young woman, bestowed with a lovely jazzy voice, popular and very smart. This fresh, 18 year old, will embark on her next journey in life excited about the transition from high school student to adulthood.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the graduation, but as I was writing on a card I bought for her, I couldn’t help but think of all the accomplishments people have throughout life. Many accomplishments occur as infants and young children, where due to our biological make-up, we cannot retain many of them in memory. As infants, we hold the bottle for the first time, rollover, sit, crawl, walk, talk, independently use the potty, well you get the point. Progress to childhood and we find that we can successfully tie our shoes for the first time, learn to read, recite the ABCs from memory, ride a bike, etc. And so, for many, we go through life completing countless feats; graduations, engagements, marriage, parenthood, careers, and promotions to name a few. We are mostly unaware that these great things are not attained on our own merit, and many times not even giving it a second thought to thank God.
There is an enormous error in this kind of thinking. We get to where we get to with the help of God. Let’s never forget that. A grateful person goes further in life than the unthankful ever will. Take a moment and always thank Him for your accomplishments. One of the ugliest traits a person can have is that of being an ingrate. As difficult times approach, men will be characterized by a variety of despicable traits, one of them being ungrateful. Take a look at what Paul says in his letter in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.”
Although all of these listed traits are undesirable, doesn’t it seem that the ungrateful person just caries an air of arrogance and self-entitlement? Such a trait has the capacity to disfigure even the most physically flattering person.
We ought to be thankful for what we have. We must be content with the things our Creator has bestowed upon us. They’re bestowed for a reason, it’s free, and it’s undeserved. We’ve been give these things because He sovereignly ordained it so. Let’s not take it upon ourselves to alter that as if we are the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s humble ourselves and remember that we are not worthy of anything and everything that we do have is a gift and a blessing from God, “for every good and perfect gift is from above.” (James 1:17.)
Let us strive to apply this truth and
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. ~ Colossians 3:15-17