By Curt Klingerman
Without gratitude, there’s no moving forward in life. Being thankful is paramount for growth and prosperity. True prosperity requires a prosperous soul. 3 John 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. Too many get that backwards. There’s plenty of evidence, which includes stories of some of the rich and famous. They have money, fame and even power; and yet, they’re destitute spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Why else are a number of them addicted to drugs, alcohol or have whatever adverse dispositions that plague them? Why did some who seemed to have it all commit suicide? Their soul did not prosper first!
Keep in mind that having a lot of money only magnifies who you are at your core. In that sense, it doesn’t really change you. If you were generous before wealth, you will exhibit generosity on a higher level with it. You are generous in either place. If you were a jerk before wealth, you’ll be a bigger jerk afterward. The character has to change; not the amount you possess. Having riches will not make one more generous or content for that matter. That being said, if someone cannot be grateful with “little,” do you really expect him or her to be grateful with more?
Spiritually speaking, being discontent along with murmuring and complaining holds you back from true prosperity. Since the spiritual precedes the physical, it impedes all areas of life. That in a sense, translates into deficit spending. Most are familiar with the Exodus story in which the children of Israel were stuck in the wilderness 40 years before entering into the Promise land. The unbelief of the first generation caused them to constantly murmur and complain, and in the end, they died in the desert without seeing it (see Hebrews 3:1-19). In essence, being discontent reveals lack of faith and even resentment towards God. So yes, it stops the blessings from coming.
But, let’s look on another level. Gratitude opens creativity. Thankfulness makes room for peace which effects the whole person (spirit, soul, mind and body). It changes the chemistry of the body which influences the mind’s ability to function. Emotionally, it stabilizes the signals from the brain to the body. How do you typically feel when you’re at peace? How do you physically feel if you get all worked up? How many times have you heard people say they lost their appetite after getting upset? Perhaps, you’re one. Being discontent breeds frustration and anxiety, which in turn releases negative chemicals into the body. Your health is probably more effected by your spiritual, mental and emotional disposition than anything else. Without a prosperous soul, health is in jeopardy. When do you think the best, when you’re sick or when you’re healthy? It’s somewhat cyclical. When a person’s spirituality takes a nosedive, the rest tends to crash along with it.
Who tends to get the promotions or rewards: those who murmur and complain? Hardly! Ironically, they like to gripe about those who have favor. Incidentally, more than likely, the ones with favor practice gratitude. God loves thankfulness, and He has lot to say about it. Read your Bible and find the passages of Scripture that talk about it. Then look up the ones pertaining to the opposite. The difference is a stark reality. Promotion comes from above. As an employer, who would you prefer to promote, the one who is grateful or the whiner? That pretty much underscores how favor is affected by thankfulness. Complaining really doesn’t get you very far. Oh sure, you might wear someone down by constantly griping, but is that the way you want things to come your way? People have a propensity to do more for the grateful than the ungrateful. If you find yourself facing opposition or resistance, check your gratitude meter. For some, their lack of it is the reason they’re stuck. If they want to turn things around, a good place to begin is gratitude!
Curt Klingerman is the author of the book, “The Faith Of Jesus In The Life Of The Believer” (released June 15th, 2010). Curt was called by the Lord Jesus Christ to minister both in Word and in music, with an emphasis on helping people grow up into their calling. As time and ministry progressed, through a series of events, Curt learned the principle of, “Deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Me.” www.perfectfaith.org