Carnal Gratitude

I have had it in my heart and head to keep a gratitude journal for about a year now. Every time I get started I stop. Upon serious consideration I realize the reason I keep stopping is because my thankful entries seem so carnal. And it makes me feel like such a carnal unspiritual person. Interesting. Am I really that carnal? Is my impression of God really so shallow? That  He is like a bubble gum ball machine up in the sky dropping down blessings at my bidding? This is crazy! I've never seen myself quite so carnal and worldly minded as I have each time I start these gratitude lists. I am trying to see through this to the other side. Maybe it is my unbalanced view of God. Maybe I really do not believe that he cares for every minute detail of my life. Maybe I don't really believe the Bible. Psalm 139:1-6 says;

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I am far away.
You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

Too great for me to understand.

That must be it. So I am going to endeavor to do this. I am taking the challenge to write down 1000 things I am thankful to God for, in one years time, regardless of how I look to myself in the mirror of God's word. I think I am going to learn a lot. I hope it will help me to love and know Jesus more intimately and fully as I appreciate the many things that I am sure I am taking for granted on a daily basis. I am ready to face my carnal self and hopefully crawl out of that skin for good.

1. Today I am thankful for sunshine. Bright blue skies and warm sun on my skin.

2. Trees getting their summer clothes. Little leaves with the promise of a green canopy overhead.

3. Open windows and a chorus of song floating in on the gentle breeze at my back as I am typing this. A symphony of birds leading me in thankful praise to my Creator!

4. I am also deeply thankful for the body of Christ and the small part I get to play in it. For the familiar comfort of acceptance and love as I sit in silence with my sisters and brothers before the Lord.

5. For the spiritual gift within me and the working of it to my astonishment again and again. For the complete awesome privilege to be a vessel used by God. Oh that everyone would know and use their spiritual gifts to the edification of the body of Christ and the glory of God!

6.Love from a pure heart. Only you, Lord Jesus, can make my heart love with no guile or hidden motive. Just such a free and pure accepting love flowing out of my heart. Thank you.

7.Thank you for giving me a husband that watches out for my soul so diligently. Even when I push against his watchfulness and care. Thank you for a shepherd husband.

Not so carnal today? Just wait. I am sure I will surprise you eventually. Maybe the fact that I have been praying and pondering this for a few hours has helped me to be more spiritually minded. Hey! Maybe if I ponder gratitude more often everyday, maybe I will actually become a more spiritually minded Christian. Hmmmm......... This will take some definite work. I will keep you posted.



I am linking arms with many precious women taking the challenge to live more thoughtfully through thanks to our Creator HERE.


Tracy said…
Great idea Renee. As I was reading this it made me ponder what it is I give thanks for most. It's either my "worse case senerio" thinking or my life experiences that make me think this way, but I find myself thanking God all the time for protection from horrible things I envision in my head! Crazy but anything from walking down the stairs without falling to my death or driving down these insane streets of Haiti and living to see another day! I see and hear of so much tragity and think "why Lord have you protected me and my family so far?" Life is so precious and unpredictable. I don't want to be a worrier or be paralized in fear because of the way my mind works. So I have learned that it is better to give thanks but it is still hard not to think this way.
Lisa B. said…
Renee, don't let the enemy beat you up for being thankful for EVERYTHING! It's the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Jesus died, was beaten and scourged so He could give us everything. I think your heart is right on track and the thankfulness is welling up inside you wanting to get out... wanting to express your gratitude to your awesome, amazing Father! (Eph. 5:20)

I think the "what" of what you are thankful for is not the issue... the heart of the matter is that you recognize the "who" the "what" is coming from and recognize ALL good things come from the Father! (James 1:17) He even tells us to tell everyone how good He is and what He has done and has given to us.(Is. 12:4-5)

The enemy is the condemner (Is that really a word? LOL), so if you are feeling condemned over what is on your list, it's not coming from God. He's not unhappy or disappointed in you and your "seeming" carnality. He gave His children manna everyday yet they were "unthankful" for it, which is the first step towards a hardened heart. (Rom 1:21) That was a physical need they had and should have been grateful for Him meeting their EVERY need. We should too.

I've also found, the more I find to be thankful for, the more thankfulness rises out of me unbidden, just overflowing at His goodness, His grace and His mercy... I SOOO don't deserve it, yet it delights Him to give it to me. (Psalm 20:4)

Just as it delights you to see your children's eyes when you give them something they don't deserve, it delights God too... it blesses Him. You are SUCH a blessing and amazing person and one of the most thankful people I know! The enemy is a liar, cheat and thief. You just rock on with your list of thankfulness and see what happens to your heart as you continue to focus on Him and ignore the jabs of the enemy. He is just a zero with the rim knocked off! LOL

You are AWESOME! I am thankful for YOU!!

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