“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.”
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he warns of imposters in the last and perilous days. He lists a series of qualities that describe these traitors (cf., 2Tim 3:2-8).
Among this descriptive list is the quality of being “UNTHANKFUL.”
We usually know when someone ELSE is being an ingrate, but seldom do we recognize it in ourselves. There are only two ways I know to see it in ourselves. One is through constant self-evaluation (cf. 2Cor 13:5), the other is learning by example (both positive & negative).
Let’s combine these strategies with a self-evaluation test using biblical examples.
Take this GRATITUDE self-test to know if we’re being grateful or ungrateful.
Do I only see…
- the FORBIDDEN fruit?
- the freedom to eat every other FRUIT in the garden?
(Gen 2:16-17; 3:4-6) Metaphorical for those forbidden “fruits” of the lust of the flesh.
Do I only notice…
- Those that are ABSENT from the assemblies?
- Those that are in ATTENDANCE?
(Mat 18:20; 1Cor 11:18)
What do I regularly think about…
- WORRY and anxiety?
- the WORD?
(Mat 6:33; Phil 4:8)
When I’m planning my contribution…
- Do I Give GRUDGINGLY?
- Do I Give GLADLY?
When studying my bible do I…
- Dread READING?
- Look for the REAPING from what I read?
(John 20:30-31; 2Tim 2:15; Eph 3:3-4; 2Pet 1:5-10)
When assembling to worship with the saints, do I…
- See it as an OBLIGATION that I have to do?
- See it as an OPPORTUNITY that I get to do?
(John 4:24; Heb 10:25)
When it comes to my brethren what do I notice…
- The HURT of some?
- The HELPFULNESS of most?
(Num 11:5-6; James 1:20)
When the weather turns…
- Do I only see the RAIN, snow, sun etc.?
- Do I notice the blessings of REFRESHMENT?
(Acts 14:17; Matt 5:45)
What is my attitude toward my job?
- Do I view it only as WORK to pay my bills?
- Do I see it as WEALTH building to share & enjoy?
(Eph 4:28; 1Tim 6:17-19)
When I’m ill…
- Do I exemplify the SICKNESS with an organ recital?
- Do I SHOW my hope in my faithful endurance?
(Jas 5:11; 2Cor 4:16-18)
When trouble comes…
- Do I only see the STRUGGLE?
- Do I see the STRENGTH and patience that comes from endurance?
(Jas 1:1-3; Heb 12:11)
When I go into the marketplace…
- Do I lament the COMMERCIALISM?
- Do I see the nearly limitless CHOICES?
Life on earth is seldom easy. The way we respond to the struggles of life will determine how much HOPE we display. A positive response gives the best chance to reach the lost through our godly example (cf. 1Peter 3:1-6).
Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ at Franklin & Juniper st. in Borger Texas.