I know that this week is all about being thankful. I know that the Bible is clear that we are to give thanks in all things. I wrote a blog on that very topic sometime back. Give Thanks in All Things. In spite of that I have to admit that I am having second thoughts about all this thanksgiving spirit. Maybe I am just getting more contrary or maybe there really is something to be said here. The point is, it seems that much of our “thanksgiving” runs shallow and is extremely self-centered. Most of the time, our giving thanks stops short of making a real impact.
Here is my point. My recent trip to India got me thinking a great deal about the words of Jesus in Luke 12:48 “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” What has continued to run through my mind is the realization that I and almost every follower of Christ in America, have been given immeasurably more than Christians in almost every other place on the planet. So it has me wondering, What will you require of me Lord, in light of all I have been given and for which I am thankful?
All around America on Thanksgiving Day, people will stop and give thanks for the many blessings in their life. Followers of Christ will be thankful for the freedom they have to worship, their home, jobs, food, family, the list goes on. Once we are done giving thanks for all these we will dig into the turkey and mashed potatoes then fall into a turkey induced stupor in front of a football game. At least that is usually my routine. When that happens we fall woefully short of what God has for us. We need to ask a question on the heels of all our thanksgiving. The question is simple. Jesus, what do you want me to do with all I have been given in order to bring you glory and lead others into a relationship with you?
You see we have not been given all our blessings just so we can have a wonderful life. We have not been showered with good stuff just so we can be comfortable. We have been given all the blessings we are so thankful for in order to use those things to make a difference in the lives of others. So here is the deal. When you run through the litany of things that you thank God for, don’t stop there. Continue the conversation with Him and ask, what do you want me to do with this? How can I use all this for the advancement of your Kingdom. That is how we can truly say thank you to God for all His good gifts in our lives.
6 thoughts on “Why Being Thankful Just Doesn’t Cut It.”
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord is not just a phrase. The poor will be with you always is not just a phrase. Cut yourself some slack. Become as a little child. Enjoy the wonder. It is a miracle that we have been planted here in this beautiful land. That was God’s placement, not our sin to absolve. Just sayin’… I know India is a hard place. God knows that, too. He took you there and he brought you home, safe. A turkey stupor and some sillyness with the blessing of health and a close and loving family is really a blessing. It’s OK to accept it! Just sayin’…. God bless you.
I am not trying to belittle you here brother but growing in your spiritual growth is more of a self realizing step in your walk with Christ. What you have blogged about is a self resolution of a man growing in the spirit. I am myself daily shedding the old man, learning about my old self, and repenting. It is a normal process when you truly love and seek the Lord Jesus Christ.
As far as repaying what God has given us is impossible. The best way to go about it is to strive to do with what tasks are given to our fullest.
God blessed you and me that live free here with time to enjoy family and friends once and a while and that is not a bad thing. Plus, it is ok every once or twice a year. Just take joy in it, and when that time comes help that man walking on the highway or that child in a different country if a opportunity arises. Loving Christ and being Christ like doesn’t mean you cant have fun and eat good once in a while it means help that bum when you see him without waiting another day.
God bless you.
I’m going to read this in place of our blessing today before the turkey induced stupor. Let’s see if you provoke anything?
I’m gonna venture to say that all of you are right.
Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the blessings God has given us! And it would be a wrong thing to say that we should feel guilty for enjoying our blessings, and be motivated by that guilt to give to those in need. God’s modus operande is not to guilt us into action!
Instead, our action is fueled by an overflow of thankfulness, as I think is suggested by Dan here. God has blessed us. We rejoice, and praise Him. We see someone in need, who we can help, and we are overjoyed that we are in a position where we CAN help that person, and we do so willingly, not out of obligation. “The Lord loves a cheerful giver”!!
So, yes, enjoy your Thanksgiving, turkey-induced-stupor and all. And let your praise to God overflow into action on the part of others less fortunate than you. Pass the blessing on!
Definitely worth reminding us all of this!
I’m a little late responding, however, I wanted to express my feelings on your “Why Being Thankful Just Doesn’t Cut It.” I personally know exactly where you are coming from. I too have been to foreign countries and have seen the hunger in children’s eyes, the patrouding stomachs, the rags on their bodies. I suppose a person cannot realize what it is like to see this unless they go for themselves. This past thanksgiving seemed to be the most difficult for me in that I am a missionary at heart and remember what I have see, not only at Thanksgiving but every time I sit to eat. When we bless our food before eating, my wife always asks God to make a way for the starving people in other countries. If any question as to whether I live a miserable life my answer would be, “I live a very full and satisfied life.” I agree with you brother. To all others I say, just hold on, this country will see hard times in the future to the extent we will experience some of these very things.