Friday, August 4, 2017

How Ungratefulness Leads to Gossip

Before I get to the next post about how not to participate in gossip, I want to take a little detour down the path of ingratitude, and how it, too, can lead to gossip.

See, when people are on the receiving end of much grace, they can either go two ways: gratefulness towards those who have shown that grace, or hardness of heart.

If they choose hardness of heart, a resentfulness that leads to negative thoughts and words results.

The help and support they have been given leads to a belief that it wasn’t enough, that more could still be forthcoming, or that the giver still has it so much better than the receiver.

An ungrateful person can also mentally place themselves in a position of somehow being locked in or handcuffed to circumstances that they themselves chose, brought about and may have even initially desired.

But they redirect "blame" onto others for their decisions that have now got them "stuck."

When others step in to assist, the one being assisted may superficially say “thank you,” or begrudgingly discount any help, guidance or teaching they received as having been “lame” “unprofessional” “backwards” or “strict.”

Either way, those who are, in truth, ungrateful in their minds and hearts will often backstab, in public statements to fellow like-minded intimates, the people who have aided them.

An ungrateful heart beats because:

Circumstances have not turned out the way that a person expected.


Circumstances did turn out the way they planned, but life doesn’t “feel” the way they thought it would. In other words, everything went as it should, but the person doesn’t feel appreciated, fulfilled, excited, powerful or whatever it may be.


Someone else is doing more or appearing more successful, glamorous, adventurous, creative, smart, rich and on and on. So we look to our past to see how we were led astray, disadvantaged, “brainwashed” and controlled or neglected by our parents and anyone else who had anything to do with our upbringing and early adult training.

I know many talented people, advantaged with the opportunity to receive advanced education after high school, who have fairly well-functioning extended families, are bright and capable, and yet, they are jealous of and find ways to minimize or not even acknowledge those positives. Their competitiveness with other people prevents them from being thankful for their own life and the people who have supported them.

This lack of thankfulness results in dissatisfaction with many, if not all, aspects of reality.

It’s the old adage,

“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

The result is slander and the maligning of other people in order to excuse our own perceived lack of accomplishment or to confirm our belief that life is unfair (as opposed to a perspective that life has been very fair and I would do well to be grateful!).

Lack of gratitude for who we are, our country, what we own, where we live, the people who are in our life, and the love that already surrounds us leads to much disaffection—which leads to a critical spirit—which, when spoken publicly, is simply another form of gossip.

Those who truly are justified in being dissatisfied do something about it and don’t throw others under the bus in the process. Gratified that they have come this far, they continue to explore new opportunities.

Undefiled gratefulness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

It acknowledges God as the only good.

It fully accepts our inability to magically create goodness or to be good out of thin air.

Any goodness in us or our life is of and from God in Christ Jesus.

When we adopt this as truth, we will find it difficult to be ungrateful.

Even the smallest gesture from another person will bring tears of humble joy to our eyes.

We will observe the love that flows around us that we have shunned due to our selfish and endless search for more of what we have defined as love, instead of what is, in actuality, love.

The health we have will be abundant.

The life we have will be contented.

God will be our portion, moment by God-given moment.

And we will not slander others’ success. We will not despise the best efforts of those who raised us and were finding their way just as we are finding ours. We will not be condescending toward God, who brought us into this world and is the One who keeps it spinning.

Godly Gratitude. It’s a heart condition from which everything else flows. Including our words.

 copyright Barb Harwood

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Jesus, speaking in Matthew 12:33-37

“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” Luke 6:45

“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” Ephesians 4:17-24

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” Ephesians 4:29-32

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Psalm 107:1

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