Last Thursday I was in Anderson, SC attending the Newspring Leadership Conference and it was absolutely a great time of learning and of conviction by the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Steven Furtick from Elevation church in Charlotte, NC, made some observations about gratefulness and talked how we as a church, we need to be grateful.
Gratitude begins where my sense of entitlement ends. We can’t be grateful for something that you feel entitled to. Thus, when our sense of entitlement is high, then our sense of gratitude is low. When our gratitude is high, our sense of entitlement is low. IF we can impart this to our churches, people will have the attitude of “get to” instead of “got to.” Church services will be a place where people come for worship out of the gratitude of our hearts for what Christ has done for them, as opposed to a place where people come to get something for themselves (a new spiritual high, that ego boost, the good feelings that we’re suppose to have all the time because we decided to become christians, etc). We need to fight a sense of entitlement in our lives. For me, God has blessed me so much, but have I been grateful? Looking back on my life, my attitudes and everything, I can find so many speckles of entitles littered throughout my life. I feel entitled to: love from my family, thaving a laptop, being at seminary, having enough to eat, etc. Is there areas/times of gratefulness? Yes. Is there still areas of selfishness and entitlement? Absolutely…which brings up the next point.
Gratefulness needs to be said and shown, but I have I shown it as much to others? We sometimes think that we don’t need to mention or show our gratefulness because people should know that we are grateful in our hearts…BUT people don’t know our hearts. People are not mind-readers nor are they heart-knowers. We need to be say it and show it! Of course, we have to be real and when there needs to be tough love, we need to have confrontations, but we will never be in danger of too much gratitude. We should be expressing and showing our gratefulness to those around us, instead of hiding it.
Oh God, make us a grateful people, who are thankful for everything that is given to us and who shows our gratitude, instead of assuming people know!