He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.
–Ecclesiastes 5:10

If we are going to become like Jesus Christ, then we have to learn how to express gratitude to God regularly. Let me ask you: Is gratitude a part of your life? If somebody who knows you well were to use a word to describe you, would they choose “grateful”? When you pray, are the first words out of your mouth “give me” or “do this,” or are the first words expressions of thanksgiving for what God has done for you? Why do we have such a hard time expressing gratitude to God? This week, we will look at barriers to gratitude in your life.

The first barrier to gratitude is materialism. Materialism is the belief that money can satisfy our deepest needs. But have you ever noticed that no matter how much money you have, it never seems to be quite enough? Have you ever fallen into that trap that says, “If I just earned a little bit more money, if I had a little bit more in my savings account, then I would be satisfied”? Let me let you in on a secret: no matter how much you have, it will never be enough.

Solomon was the wealthiest man of his day. But in Ecclesiastes 5:10, he said, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.” The person who believes that money can satisfy his needs or protect him against adversity is going to be disappointed, because he never seems to have enough. The fact is, no amount of money can satisfy you or save you from trouble. As long as we are pursuing money in the hope that it is going to satisfy us, we never will be satisfied. Materialism only increases our thirst for more and robs us of the ability to say thanks to God for what He has already done.

Closely related to materialism is the barrier of comparison. We love to compare ourselves to other people, don’t we? We compare our cars and our homes; we compare our bank accounts; we compare our children; we compare everything we have. The problem with comparison is this: there will always be somebody who has more than you have. Have you found that out? It does not matter how much you have, there will always be somebody who has more than you have. You will never have enough money or possessions, because there will always be somebody who has more than you do.

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:12 about the folly of comparison. He said, “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.” The Bible says that for you to compare yourself to another person is utter stupidity. Why? Because comparison does not take into account the fact that God has a unique plan for your life. And as long as we are comparing what we do not have to what somebody else has, we cannot thank God for what He has provided for us.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Count Blessings, Not Sheep” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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