40 Day Journey to Joy – Day 15

Tommy Newberry has talked about the importance of gratitude on many of the previous days of his book, 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life, but today it’s a full-on smack down!  He gets serious about the lack of a heart of thankfulness in his “Profile of an Ingrate.”  He states that ingrates fall into one or more of seven categories.  They are: 

  • Disconnected from God. 

When we hang out with our Creator, we become more like Him.  We cherish life and see what He sees, which is the goodness in all He has made.  When we don’t,  our worldview is understandable small. 

  • Bombarded by excessive noise. 

Too many commitments, too much technology, too much rushing around.  No time to be still.  This is often the cause for the disconnection from God and stops us being able to really think about the good in our lives. 

  • Constantly tied-in to the media. 

Enough said about that!  If you spend too much time with your ear to the news or looking at social media, you will be exposed to lots of problems but very few solutions.   

  • Feeling entitled. 

Newberry says, “Nothing is quite so powerful, or so quickly destructive to your potential for joy, as the attitude of entitlement.”  This attitude turns a gift given into something we are owed from others.  Those who receive without contributing develop a deep sense of emptiness. 

Another form of entitlement occurs when we receive a blessing, such as relationship with a mate, for so long that we take it for granted and stop being grateful for it. 

  • Worriers.  

 Newberry points out that worrying is when you trust your fears more than God.  Worry dwells on fears without doing anything about them.  Philippians 4:6-7 points out that we should not worry about anything but pray about every everything, remembering all the times God has come through. 

  • Suffering from CDS – an abbreviation Newberry made up which stands for Continuous Deficiency Syndrome.   

People who suffer from CDS always want more.  A more beautiful spouse, more money, a better physique, smarter, more popular or more athletic children.  “The more we seek to become satisfied as consumers, the emptier we become as human beings,” says Newberry.   

  • Greedy for the first and best. 

Always afraid there isn’t enough to go around, they are first in line to grab the biggest piece of the pie.  The author advises that, “you experience lasting abundance only when you realize that you already have everything you need for total joy.” 

Today’s exercise is to look at some of your attitudes or habits that inhibit gratitude and some that encourage it.  Write down one positive change you are determined to make in the next week. 

Though I try to take the time to connect with God, I could more take time to be still during the day. My biggest flaw as an ingrate is taking the blessings in my life for granted and always wanting more.  This is especially true in my relationships.  I not only want love and attention; I want it in just the way I want it.  I fail to appreciate or recognize what comes in any other package.   

So, my commitment is to follow a practice suggested by John Eldridge in his book, Get Your Life Back. He takes sixty seconds to be still and let everything go.  He releases all the activities swirling around him.  He lets everything go and he prays, “Jesus–I give everyone and everything to you.”  He keeps repeating this until he feels like he is releasing and detaching.  Once he is in that peaceful place, he continues with his prayer, “Jesus–I need more of You; fill me with more of You, God.  Restore our union, fill me with your life.”  It’s just one minute!  I will pause and take that minute whenever my head and heart get crazy. 

If you had one minute, how could you use it to calm your mind and connect with God? 

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