There’s a poignant story in Scripture about a group of lepers who were healed by Jesus. And as Luke 17 tells us, only one of the men who was healed of their horrible, incurable disease came back to thank Jesus for doing what He did!

Now, I don’t think those other lepers weren’t thankful. In fact, I’m sure they were overjoyed. But they were in such a hurry they didn’t pause long enough to say two simple words: Thank you.

During this time of year when we pause to give thanks to God for all His blessings, we as Christians have more reason than anyone else on earth to be thankful.

But how many of us are really truly thankful people? How often do we stop long enough all year long to remember and thank Jesus for all He’s done for us?

There are three main reasons why followers of Christ aren’t thankful today ... three “thanks-busters” that each of us — if we’re not careful — can fall victim to. Not only will these three thanks-busters keep us from being thankful, they’ll stop us from truly enjoying life and becoming all that Christ wants us to become as His children!

Thanks-buster #1: Conceit

Conceit -- or the attitude of pride -- is one of the biggest thieves of thankfulness. Why? Because a conceited spirit says, “I deserve what I’ve got,” and, “I deserve all the credit for what I did and for what I accomplished.”

It’s like the woodpecker who was hammering away at a telephone pole. At about the time he was making some headway, a huge bolt of lightning struck the pole and split it right down the middle. When the woodpecker came to his senses, he flew out and came back with ten of his woodpecker friends and said: “See! See what I did! See what I did!”

The Scripture says that pride comes before a fall ... and, I might add, a great deal of disappointment, too.

Thanks-buster #2: A Critical Spirit

Another thief of thankfulness is a critical spirit.

You know, those who have a critical spirit are petty. They’re never satisfied. And they’re all wrapped up in themselves. They’re constantly finding fault ... constantly blaming ... constantly being negative. I doubt you know anyone like this!

People like this grumble because they don’t have what they want, instead of being thankful for not getting what they deserve. This kind of attitude destroys thanksgiving … and it could potentially wreck your life.

Thanks-buster #3: Carelessness

Having an attitude of carelessness means getting accustomed to your blessings ... getting used to what God has given you. Much like the children of Israel when they were out in the wilderness.

God satisfied the needs of the nation of Israel as they wandered through the wilderness by feeding them with manna, an incredibly light bread that appeared on the ground every day. It was a miracle every morning, and, of course, they celebrated it at first. But as they wandered in the wilderness due to their own disobedience, they eventually grew to hate that light bread! They got used to the blessing. They became accustomed to what God had given them. And that will destroy thanksgiving in our hearts every time!

So what about you? Are you a thanks-buster?

Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in all circumstances.” Why does Paul tell us this? Because he knows that when we limit our gratitude ... when we don’t say thanks ... we build a very small fence around our lives.

Instead of living and enjoying the full expanse of what God has given us, we build a little hut around ourselves — and our world becomes very small, narrow and selfish.

So today, I want to encourage you to ask God to help you root out any thanks-busters in your life. Because when you live a life of thanks, you’ll realize that beyond your circumstances ... beyond what you’re going through ... there is a sovereign God who loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!

PowerPoint® Ministries started as a vision of Dr. Jack Graham and his wife Deb. They believed that the power of God was evident in their growing church and that His Gospel message should be spread beyond the walls of that church to the world at large. They put their faith into action and purchased airtime on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. PowerPoint® Ministries was then officially launched in April 1994. PowerPoint® Ministries now reaches 31 cities and 18 states in the United States through their radio and television stations. In addition, they broadcast in over 70 countries including the U.S., Great Britain, South Africa, Iraq, Israel and more.

This article originally published Oct. 31, 2006

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