I've dealt with this topic a couple of times recently, but I felt that the Lord wanted me to hit on it once again. To be honest, I think it's for my benefit more than anyone else's. I often have the tendency to be thankful for things that go my way and unthankful for things that don't. Not good! The Bible says we should be thankful in all things, not just the things that go our way. This is another area of spiritual housecleaning where I need some work.
Many years ago, as the story is told, a devout king was disturbed by the ingratitude of his royal court. He prepared a large banquet for them. When the king and his royal guests were seated, by prearrangement, a beggar shuffled into the hall, sat down at the king's table, and gorged himself with food. Without saying a word, he then left the room. The guests were furious and asked permission to seize the tramp and tear him limb from limb for his ingratitude.
The king replied, "That beggar has done only once to an earthly king what each of you does three times each day to God. You sit there at the table and eat until you are satisfied. Then you walk away without recognizing God, or expressing one word of thanks to Him."
I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm guilty of the same thing. God provides for me day in and day out, and I take it for granted. God meets a need that I've been praying about, and I grumble that it wasn't quite what I had in mind. If others treated me with the ingratitude that I often show God, I would be livid. Like the royal court, I would scream, "How dare they be so ungrateful!" Yet, I discover it in my life time after time.
One of the best ways to "clean out" the unthankfulness in our lives is to stop focusing on what we don't have and start focusing on what we do have. Stop looking at everything that's going wrong and start looking at everything that's going right. Stop looking for something to complain about and start looking for something to praise God for. The things we focus on will greatly impact our attitude.
God has been so good to us. Yes, we have problems. No, things don't always work out the way we want them to. But, God has blessed us. Let's not forget to take notice of that!