Timothy Keller on Thanks and Rest

“Cosmic ingratitude is living in the illusion that you are spiritually self-sufficient. It is taking credit for something that was a gift. It is the belief that you know best how to live, that you have the power and ability to keep your life on the right path and protect yourself from danger. That is a delusion, and a dangerous one. We did not create ourselves, and we can’t keep our lives going one second without his upholding power. Yet we hate that knowledge, Paul says, and we repress it. We hate the idea that we are utterly and completely dependent upon God, because then we would be obligated to him and would not be able to live as we wish. We would have to defer to the one who gives us everything.

“Therefore, because the sin in our hearts makes us desperate to keep control of our lives and to live the way we want, we cannot acknowledge the magnitude and scope of what we owe him. We are never as thankful as we should be. When good things come to us, we do everything possible to tell ourselves we accomplished that or at least deserve it. We take the credit. And when our lives simply are going along pretty smoothly, without a lot of difficulties, we don’t live in quiet, amazed, thankful consciousness of it. In the end, we not only rob God of the glory due him, but the assumption that we are keeping our lives going robs us of the joy and relief that constant gratitude to an all powerful God brings.”

Timothy Keller, Prayer (196-197)

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