Sorry for the negative headline, but this is way too easy. I have a lot of experience in making these mistakes.
When it comes to gratitude, the more there is, the happier we are. It’s like a sliding scale… you intentionally increase your gratitude level, your happiness level goes up… find yourself practicing gratitude LESS, joy starts to decrease.
So, while there’s probably a lot of ways to stop gratitude in its tracks (and therefore stop growing in Christ) here are the 3 easiest I’ve found. Guaranteed to work!
- Comparing. Measuring your current level of contentment based on where someone else is, or what they have. This is different than striving to follow a positive example, this is determining your value relative to someone else’s perceived value. It’s a growth killer.
- Complaining. This probably should have been first. So, so easy to do. So “natural” (a term fraught with moral danger). If we simply must complain, we can do it direct to God, just as the Psalms frequently show us. If we’re just airing our grievances to ourselves or those around us, it’s holding us down.
- And, straight from the Ten Commandments… Coveting. Wanting what your neighbor has…to the point that you’d take if it you could. It just makes sense… if I’m obsessed with wanting what someone else has (material thing, a quality they have, their giftings, their reputation) I won’t have a lot of free space in my heart for being grateful for what I DO have.
It’s way too easy to sabotage our own spiritual growth. It’s a good thing there’s the grace of God to help us.