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Why Are We So Ungrateful?

Posted on November 23, 2021

Our culture today is very self-absorbed. Between the young generation who think they’re entitled to everything and the old generation that wants to live out retirement in perfect comfort, gratitude is lost along the way. The Bible predicts this in II Timothy 3, where the Apostle Paul gives a long list of character traits that will describe the people in the last days. One of those negative traits is unthankfulness. Let’s notice a few others that are listed which explain why people today are so ungrateful. 


First, people are ungrateful because they love themselves (v. 2). Our culture says that self-love and self-care is important, but both are completely unbiblical. Instead, we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Matt. 22:39). We don’t have a problem loving ourselves—that comes naturally. We are naturally selfish. The problem is that we love ourselves way too much. People are loving themselves more and more. 


Second, people are ungrateful because they are covetous (v. 2). Covetousness says, “I don’t have enough. I want more. I want what my neighbor has. I want what my friend has.” This never ends, as your carnal desires are never satisfied. The most common thing people covet is money, which can buy things that people want. I Timothy 6:10 tells us, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Thanks to advanced technology and stores like Amazon, people are more covetous than ever before. 


Third, people are ungrateful because they are incontinent (v. 3). This word simply means a lack of self-control. This feeds into covetousness. Since people have no self-control, and since they are naturally selfish, they spend their time, efforts, and money on things that please them. This leads to an attitude of ingratitude, seeking out and getting whatever one desires. When you can’t say “no” to yourself, you’ll quickly lose your thankfulness. 


Finally, people are ungrateful because they love pleasures more than they love God (v. 4). There are so many pleasures today that feed our senses. Entertainment, fine jewelry, cars, sports, hobbies, luxury items, and the list goes on. Many people have given themselves over to these things to the extent that they love them more than they love God. This can be an easy trap to fall into. As a result, they become ungrateful and unthankful for all the wonderful things God has given them. 


The cure is contentment. We must learn to be content with that which we have. I Timothy 6:6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” That doesn’t mean that we can never buy new things, but be careful that those things don’t capture your heart and steal your love. Be content—be thankful for that which you have. You don’t always have to get the newest toy and the best gadget. For Thanksgiving this year, thank God for all that He has blessed you with, and don’t let covetousness get a grip on you. In the midst of an ungrateful culture, choose to be content. 

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