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The Sin of Ingratitude


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Then they were glad because they were quiet,
So He guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness,
And for His wonders to the sons of men!

—Psalm 107:30–31

As Thanksgiving Day approaches . . .

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I say importance and neglect of the duty, for out of those many thousands that receive blessings from the Lord, how few give thanks in remembrance of his holiness? The account given us of the ungrateful lepers, is but too lively a representation of the ingratitude of mankind in general; who like them, when under any humbling providence, can cry, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ [Luke 17:13]. But when healed of their sickness, or delivered from their distress, scarce one in ten can be found ‘returning to give thanks to God.’

And yet as common as this sin of ingratitude is, there is nothing we ought more earnestly to pray against. For what is more absolutely condemned in holy scripture than ingratitude? Or what more peremptorily required than the contrary temper? Thus says the Apostle, ‘Rejoice evermore; in everything give thanks,’ and ‘Be careful for nothing. But in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God’.

On the contrary, the Apostle mentions it as one of the highest crimes of the Gentiles, that they were not thankful. ‘Neither were they thankful’ [Romans 1:21]. As also in another place, he numbers the ‘unthankful’ amongst those unholy, profane persons who are to have their portion in the lake of fire and brimstone [2 Timothy 3:2 and Revelation 21:8].

—George Whitefield, “Thankfulness for Mercies Received, a Necessary Duty” in Lee Gatiss (Ed.), The Sermons of George Whitefield (Crossway, 2012), 1:141.



Posted 2018·11·19 by David Kjos
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Posted in: George Whitefield · Gratitude · The Sermons of George Whitefield

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