Expressing thanks but ignoring the Giver?

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Two years ago, speaking about the Thanksgiving season, a fellow blogger commented, “I’m always amazed this time of year to hear people speak of being grateful, but denying the one to whom we should direct our gratitude.”  Her comment invites reflection, does it not?

How is it possible to be grateful but never acknowledge God? Could it be that we fail to see Him as the Source of all good gifts? Could it be that, in the vein of king Nebuchadnezzar, we are taking all or most of the credit for the good in our lives? Could it be that we do not know or live in the light of the truths revealed in Acts 17:24-28 (CEV):

This God made the world and everything in it. … He gives life, breath, and everything else to all people. From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and He decided when and where every nation would be. God has done all this, so that we will look for Him and reach out and find Him. He isn’t far from any of us, and He gives us the power to live, to move, and to be who we are…”

Could it be that we do not know or remember that it is

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning…” and great is His faithfulness? (Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV)

How well do those of us who call Him Father and claim that He is Lord know these truths? Is our knowledge only head knowledge? Or do these truths so permeate our being that thanksgiving, gratitude has become our lifestyle instead of something we do occasionally and without intentionality?

Someone posed this question, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” What would the answer be for each of us? Sobering. 

I close with an invitation/prayer/plea from Psalm 107:1-2, 8-9, NKJV).

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy… Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.”

 

Thanks

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The instruction to give God thanks is found in various books in both the Old and New Testament. Sometimes it is stated with what appears to be exultation and jubilation as in Psalm 107:1-2. “O give thanks to the LORD for He is good for His compassion and lovingkindness endure forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary.”  And I can imagine that it is whispered sometimes, as perhaps you can recall doing, “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good.”

I take note of the fact that the instruction to give God thanks is usually given together with a reason, which usually has to do with His character; for example, as noted before, “He is good.” Other character traits include His lovingkindness, which endures forever.

But His character traits are not the only reasons given for giving God thanks. First Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” It is His will that we give Him thanks. His will.

And I also take note of Psalm 50:24, “Whoever offers thanks as a sacrifice honors Me…” And I remember that sometimes thanks may be hard to give, especially under circumstances such as those echoed by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family in the song, “Thy will:” “I know you’re good, but this don’t feel good right now.”  I am thankful that when thanks giving is hard, I can do this hard thing and all hard things through Christ who gives me strength.

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Day 11 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge. Today’s prompt is “Thanks.”

Click here to read previous posts for the series.31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes challenge.

 

Expressing gratitude but denying the Giver

Today’s post is inspired by a recent comment C. M, a fellow blogger, made in response to one of my posts. She noted, “I’m always amazed this time of year to hear people speak of being grateful, but denying the one to whom we should direct our gratitude.”  As I continue to reflect on her words, I wonder if one reason individuals can “speak of being grateful” without acknowledging “the one to whom we should direct our gratitude,” is that they fail to see Him as the Source of all good gifts? Also, in addition to not seeing God as the source of all good gifts, can it be that, in the vein of king Nebuchadnezzar, even if they believe that God exists, they take all or most of the credit for the good in their lives?  Can it be that they do not know the truths revealed in Acts 17:24-28 (CEV):

This God made the world and everything in it. … He gives life, breath, and everything else to all people. From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and He decided when and where every nation would be. God has done all this, so that we will look for Him and reach out and find Him. He isn’t far from any of us, and He gives us the power to live, to move, and to be who we are…”

Can it be that they do not know it is

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning…” and great is His faithfulness? (Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV)

And how well do those of us who call Him Father and claim that He is Lord know these truths? Is our knowledge only head knowledge? Or do these truths so permeate our being that thanksgiving, gratitude has become our lifestyle instead of something we do occasionally and without intentionality?

I think of a question I came across once, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” Sobering, is it not? I close with an invitation/prayer/plea from Psalm 107:1-2, 8-9, NKJV).

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy… Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.”