thankless heart


It’s not a great word. It’s not a word that I want to describe my life, or me.

It’s definitely not the way I want to live out my faith.

But sometimes this is who I am.

When that starts to happen I need to slow it down and count the cost of my ingratitude.


It damages my faith

I start to see God as my personal genie

I get upset when He doesn’t do what I think He should do, in the timing I think He should do it. I forget that Jesus willingly suffered humiliation and pain to stand in the gap for me, and that if He never did a single thing more, He’s given me more than I ever deserve.

Lord, thank You what You did for me.


It stunts my growth

He’s not there to fulfill my every wish and whim, and sometimes He leads me down hard paths because there’s growth and maturity and joy in those places. He hears my prayers, but His answers might not line up with mine and that’s okay.

He’s called me to a race.

If I throw up my hands and give up because I have a thankless heart, or I somehow think that I deserve a life that is always easy, I’m stalled at the start line.

Lord, thank you for not leaving me at the start line.


I forget what I love

Deadlines. Word counts. Assignments. Get up early. Keep going. Juggle, juggle, juggle.

When I say it like that, it sounds awful.

Who would want to sign up for that?

Um, me. I did. I was the girl waving my hands in the air. Pick me, Lord. Pick me! A message burned in my heart and I prayed that somehow I could share it, and the Lord said yes.

All of the words I said a couple of seconds ago define my work and ministry, but let me add a few:

Blessed. Amazing. Adventurous. Privilege. Joy!

How many times do we ask — beg — God for something, and He graciously gives it to us — only to take it for granted, or grumble because this gift came with responsibility?

Lord, at one time I considered it a treasure. It’s still a privilege, Father. Let this be worship instead of work.


Our children are sideswiped

My kids are grown, but they still watch me. A thankless heart impacts them, because we have this thing called a relationship. When I’m a disgruntled thankless grouch, it affects us, not just me.

My littles are all five and under and they watch me like a hawk. When I head down the thankless road, they follow. Or they get sideswiped by my thankless heart, my thankless faith, and thankless me.

Whining, griping, complaining, discouraging words, grumbling, a critical heart — those are the trademarks of a thankless heart, and it’s what we pour out over those we say we love the most.

Jesus, remind me to smile and laugh with those I love. 


I blame others

If I need to adjust my schedule or say no to a couple of things to be in balance, that’s on me.

If my thankless heart makes me feel sad, it’s not someone else’s fault.

If I point fingers and assign blame, nothing changes.

Lord, it’s me.

I hold up my thankless heart and ask You to change me. Start with me first. 


Here’s some good news.

We don’t have to live with this condition.

Worship is the way we flip from a thankless heart to a thankful life.

I know it sounds odd, but when we begin to truly thank Him for who He is, for what we’ve been given, for the smallest or biggest of treasures, and even in the hardest places — something happens inside.

Our eyes are opened.

It’s not necessarily that our situation changes, but we are open to change.

If you’re struggling with a thankless heart, will you do something with me?

When you wake up every morning, slip to your knees. Tell Him thank you. Whisper at least one thing that makes you smile.

That’s not fake. It’s not to get anything.

A thankless heart crumbles under intentional, consistent worship.

I’m doing this myself, because I refuse to live with a thankless heart. I don’t want my loved ones to be burdened with a thankless me.

And that’s not where following Jesus leads me. He’s got some pretty amazing things He wants to show me, and miracles He desires to do in and through me.

Just like He does for you.


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