Thankfulness Killers

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
Philippians 4:8, NIV*

The previous verses have focused us on God: rejoice in Him, confident He is near. Instead of being anxious, bring our needs to Him with thanksgiving.

Now Paul tells us to discipline our thought life. We can’t control what darts into our minds, but we can choose what we allow to stay. It’s hard work, but most important things are.

The verse isn’t saying to ignore the bad things in the world and live in some kind of la-la-happy-land, but Paul’s just told us how to deal with the issues: bring them to God.

Now he warns us not to take them back and stew on them. That only leads to anxiety, discontent, negativity… a whole host of thankfulness killers.

Instead, we’re to concentrate on good things. Chief among those good things will be God and His work in and around us.

I’m becoming aware how many negative things flit through my mind… often to come out my mouth. Those negatives feed the very anxiety Paul warns us against.

I’ve begun praying “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3, NIV*)

What other thankfulness killers do you know? Do you have any specific verses you use to banish them?

Father, what misery we’d be in apart from You! Thank You for rescuing us, and for giving us the Holy Spirit and Your word. Please help us work with You so we can mature in faith and demonstrate the difference trusting You makes.

A good song to keep our focus is “Give Thanks,” sung here by Don Moen and friends.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

5 thoughts on “Thankfulness Killers

  1. Belinda

    A big thankfulness killer for me is taking myself tooooo seriously. Way too seriously sometimes. I get myself all tied up in knots about some things and then I realize that is a sure sign that I’ve crossed the boundary into an area that belongs to God’s care and oversight. He has all things in hand as long as I remember my place. Peace then pervades my soul and the knots all straighten out. Aaaaah.

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  2. Marian den Boer

    A thankfulness killer for me is pride. When I get proud about something, I stop giving credit to God who orchestrated the whole thing. Then I stop being thankful: afterall, people should be thanking me.
    “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

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  3. joannamallory

    I can relate to both of these, Belinda and Marian. Been there, done that : )

    I think there’s value in recognizing those things that kill thankfulness. It puts us more on guard against them.

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  4. joannamallory

    Belinda and Marian, I woke up this morning thinking about what you’d said and it occurs to me… taking ourselves too seriously, pride, anxiety, they’re all about self, aren’t they? Maybe “self” is the big thankfulness killer.

    Hardship doesn’t help matters, but that self-focus is a really big deal. Maybe that’s why the Lord has been working on me for so many years….

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  5. God's girl

    That sounds so similar to my post about anxiety! Or at least controlling what we think about would lessen the anxiety.

    A verse I like is “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” Ps. 19:14

    Blessings! Jenny

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