Monday, March 21, 2016

Let's start a revolution!

The last several days I've been feeling awfully grumpy. Did some research on gratitude to try and jump start my thankfulness muscles.

Found this excellent article by Amy Morin, titled "7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round" In it she reports that, gratitude improves physical and psychological health. It reduces toxic emotions such as envy, resentment, frustration and regret. It increases happiness and reduces depression. It enhances empathy, reduces aggression, and improves sleep. Studies have also shown that gratitude "not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma."

I also discovered that various religious thinkers and philosophers for many centuries have considered ingratitude as the "root of all evil." Reading the definition of "ingratitude" I noticed that the word "nonrecognition" is listed as a synonym. The definition of "nonrecognition:" includes this: "refusal to acknowledge the existence, validity, or legality of something."

Sounds like Paul in Romans 1:21: "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him."

Not glorifying him as God sounds like "nonrecognition." If nonrecognition is a synonym for ingratitude then Paul seems to be saying: They were ungrateful and thankless! Repetition is a way of emphasizing a point.

What did this ingratitude and thanklessness lead to? "...their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." Then begins a litany of all the evil that resulted from their foolish, thankless, darkened hearts.

And in verses 28-29, "...Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God,"  Sounds like "nonrecognition" again. The result was, "They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity" Then follows an all inclusive list of all types of sins. Contrary to popular belief Romans chapter one is not just about one type of people doing one type of sin!

It's a warning to all of us, yes--even Christians, that when we are ungrateful to God we too will descend into dark, foolish thinking and evil behavior.

It doesn't even take very long. Even just a few days of ingratitude can lead to some pretty dark thinking. Just try it some time... Just kidding! I'm sure none of us need encouragement to be ungrateful.

Instead let's start a revolution of gratefulness to God!


St. Ignatius believed ingratitude to be “the cause, beginning, and origin of all evils and sins.” - See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/21869/the-sin-of-ingratitude#sthash.V2OJRbJ8.dpu
St. Ignatius believed ingratitude to be “the cause, beginning, and origin of all evils and sins.” - See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/21869/the-sin-of-ingratitude#sthash.V2OJRbJ8.dpuf

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