Are You a Wet Blanket on the Spirit?
By Julie Morris –
As Thanksgiving approaches this year, let’s look at what the Bible says about giving thanks. God commands us to give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and in the next verse He warns us what will happen if we don’t—He says, “Don’t put out the Spirit’s fire” (1 Thessalonians 5:19 NIV).
What He’s saying is that we will be a wet blanket on the Holy Spirit’s work within us if we don’t give thanks—and our spiritual, physical and emotional health will suffer. But this isn’t the once-a-year type of thanks. It’s daily thanksgiving.
Let’s look at the awesome things that the Holy Spirit does in us and what may happen if we’re a wet-blanket on the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit produces the delicious fruit of the Spirit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and (last but not least!) self-control (Ephesians 5:21-23 NIV). If we put a wet blanket on the Spirit by not giving thanks, we might find ourselves producing rotten fruit. As you read the list below, place a check next to any rotten fruit that you’re producing:
- Hatefulness instead of love
- Depression instead of joy
- Fear instead of peace
- Impatience instead of patience
- Rudeness instead of kindness
- Meanness instead of goodness
- Inconsistency instead of faithfulness
- Gruffness instead of gentleness
- Undisciplined lifestyles instead of self-control
As if rotten fruit weren’t enough, if we don’t give thanks, we’ll also be a wet blanket on our spiritual gifts. That means that we either won’t have these gifts or we’ll use them wrong. Here are some examples:
- Teachers will be impatient.
- Leaders will dictate.
- Givers will throw money away indiscriminately.
- Mercy-givers will try to “fix” people.
- Evangelists will cram truth down the throats of unbelievers.
- Helpers will get mad if people don’t appreciate them.
If we don’t give thanks, we’ll be a wet blanket on other things that the Holy Spirit does in us. Here are here are just a few examples:
- · The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26 NIV).
- · The Holy Spirit gives us power. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NIV).
- The Holy Spirit fills us with hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NIV).
This Thanksgiving, make a life-changing decision to give thanks every day… in everything—no matter how challenging your circumstances— so that you won’t be a wet blanket on the Spirit at work in you.
Julie Morris (Julie@guidedbyhim.com) is the author of 12 books, a dynamic speaker and founder of two Christian weight-loss programs—Step Forward (www.stepforwarddiet.com) and a lighter and easier version of Step Forward—Guided By Him to a Thinner, Not So Stressed-Out You! (www.guidedbyhim.com).