Cultivating a grateful heart

eve, wanting moreWe like to point our finger at her and judge her.

We like to criticize her for her lack of self-control and desire.

We like try to rationalize why the first woman who God created with His very own hands, the one who had it all could possibly betray Him by not restraining herself to take the one thing He asked her not to touch.

After all, she had the garden with its delicious fruits to eat.

She had the animals to take care of.

She had Adam to share her world with.

She had God to talk to and walk with every day.

And yet she still was not satisfied…

Because she knew there was one thing she couldn’t have and as long as she didn’t have it that meant that she was missing something.

Yes, we blame Eve for the downfall of the world by eating the forbidden fruit but I often wonder… if we were in her place, would the outcome really be any different?

I highly doubt it.

Because the same enemy disguised as a serpent that day still prowls around in our lives and does the very same thing to each one of us.

He taunts us with the things we think we should have.

He puts dissatisfaction in our heart and makes us ungrateful about the things that we do have.

He makes us blind to the blessings that we possess and makes us focus on the one or two things that seems to always be out of reach for us.

For Eve it was a fruit.

For us it could be a million different things.

The enemy dangles it in front of our face and whispers “this is what you really need.

One more vacation to Hawaii.

One more designer purse.

One more house upgrade.

One more relationship.

One more raise.

And in the process we stop counting our blessings and start comparing our lives to everyone elses.

Instead of being thankful as the Bible repeatedly encourages us to be we cultivate a bitter heart of want and greed.

We start gazing at the fruit that entices us with its beauty and appeal.

Like Eve, we start believing the lie that what we don’t have is the one thing that will be the answer to our problems in life.

To our feeling of emptiness.

To our dissatisfaction.

We believe that God is holding back the very thing that we need to be happy.

And we give in.

By running after worthless worldly pursuits.

By always wanting and waiting for the next “big thing”.

By listening to the voice of the enemy that tells us we need more instead of the voice of God who shows us that we have more than enough with Him.

And just like Eve in the garden God comes around and asks “Am I not enough for you that you still seek? Why are you still searching for more when you have everything you need in me?

We know that God wasn’t holding anything back from Eve by asking her not to eat from the fruit of the tree.

Yet we don’t believe the same for ourselves when we want more and God says “no, this is not for you, at least not now and not here.

We don’t believe it when we look at other people who live in bigger houses, drive nicer cars, have more prestigious careers, go on many vacations, and have the perfect family or spouse or friends.

And in the midst of our ungratefulness God whispers, “Am I not enough?

Am I not worth more than a spouse, a child, a title, a house, or a career?

Was the sacrifice of my son on the cross not enough for you to realize that I have already given you the greatest gift I have to give?

When will you stop looking at the forbidden fruit and start looking at me?

When will you cultivate a heart of gratitude instead of greed?

When will you start counting your blessings and stop counting your “needs?”

Because it is when you are thankful for what you have that you realize how blessed you are.

What can you do to cultivate a hard of thankfulness?

For me it’s simple.

I have a gratitude journal that I try to update weekly with the things I am thankful for and the ways God has been faithful in taking care of me and whenever I feel like complaining about what I don’t have I just re-read it and it helps me remember how blessed I am once again.

Another thing I do is pray for those around me who are in need whether the people directly in my life or people who are suffering around the world that I have heard about.

Praying for those who I know have very little compared to me always reminds me that I have more than enough to be grateful for and that there would be people in the world who would be beyond blessed to be in my shoes today.

And slowly… as I count my blessings and say my prayers the voice of the enemy fades away, the forbidden fruit of want is far in the distance, and I am no longer in want of more, because I know that in Christ I have all that I need.

May you keep on counting your blessings always. Be blessed! Anna… ♥

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18

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happy-girlthankfulthe-thief-of-joy-is-comparisonphoto credit: [Anne Puhlmann] via flickr

 

 

 

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21 thoughts on “Cultivating a grateful heart

    • Thanks Courtney! I don’t do too many guest posts but if its on a topic that God puts on my heart (and you’d like me to share it) then I might be able to do it. 🙂 just shoot me an email! Have a blessed weekend!

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  1. Great post! You know, we always blame Eve. However, I heard something interesting in a teaching the other day. The pastor was talking about how the Bible says that Eve was deceived. Adam, on the other hand, was not, and took of the fruit knowingly. (He never claimed that he was deceived when he confessed to God; he simply stated the facts: Eve gave him the fruit–no persuasion involved–and he ate it). Food for thought….

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        • Yep, exactly! It’s one thing to sin without knowing you are sinning and it’s another thing to sin knowing 100% that you are disobeying God. That’s why James says not everyone should be leaders because they will be judged more harshly because they should know God’s Word and live it out so that others can follow their example and if they don’t they will not only sin and lead themselves astray, but others as well. (James 3:1)

          And yes… you can never stop going deeper in God’s Word no matter how many times you read it!! I love that there are new nuggets of wisdom, truth, and insight that you can discover every day from passages you’ve read over and over again! 🙂

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  2. It is so true, think we often commit the same sin Eve did, without even realizing we do. With the same results Eve has experience, separation from God. Sometimes it takes a long time before we can be fully restored again and be able to enjoy unbroken fellowship with Him again. He so faithful, so thankful for the price He paid on Calvary for us. So good to be quiet before Him, to appreciate it again, praising Him for His endless love, mercy and grace.

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    • Yes, I think if we really thought about it then we’d realize that we are more like Eve than we’d like to admit. There are many things in our life that we often choose before we choose God and it’s only with His help and by His grace that we can reconnect with Him and start over again. We are beyond blessed with His gift on the cross for our sins. He deserves all glory for His unending mercy and love for each one of us!

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  3. Knowing and announcing who we are (our identity) in Christ and declaring the truth (Word of God) equip us to stand firm against the lies and attacks of the enemy. Great blog on spiritual conflicts and daily victory for followers of Jesus!

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