Do you consider yourself to be thankful or unthankful?
Well, as a child I always considered myself to be a very thankful person. One of the first things I remember being thankful for was losing my teeth.
I was thankful for basically one reason. It was my only source of income. The first time I lost a tooth, my mother told me to put the thing under my pillow. Now that made no sense to a six-year-old and it seemed a bit morbid. Well, I put the thing under my pillow and the next morning viola! I had money! Real dough, mucho dinero, big bucks, cash baby! You put a body part under your pillow and the money is there; magically and I overnight! Once I figured the system out, I was yanking teeth out my mouth left and right. I was well on my way to a lucrative career.
Things haven’t changed
Things haven’t changed so much! Being thankful for a successful but short-lived career via tooth loss isn’t much different than being thankful for the jobs or promotions I received as an adult. I was also thankful even if I had to fake it. Don’t judge me, because I know you have done it too! Was is it the knitted poncho you received as a gift when everyone else was wearing Members Only jackets? How about the Back Street Boys Christmas CD you received two years ago? Or better yet, the mini pool table to set on your desk at work? Then there are times when I was just down-right unthankful. You know this time too. The time that you are angry because you got a two-percent raise when you thought you deserved a ten-percent.
Found the common denominator here? Yes, it is all about you, it’s all about me. This is thankfulness for what we receive, instead of who the One Who Gives. God has a lot to say about the thankful and the unthankful and let me warn you. He is not so happy with one group!
What does God say?
The thankful honor God while the unthankful are considered vain, empty and foolish. Romans 1:19-23
For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
The thankful are lovers of God while the unthankful share the same future as the unholy, the heartless, and the treacherous. 2 Timothy 3:1-9
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.
The thankful will give praise to God while the unthankful will not go unnoticed by Jesus. Luke 17:11-19
On the way to Jerusalem, he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.
What about you?
So, what about you? Are you part of the unthankful group? The vain, empty, foolish, unholy, the heartless, and the treacherous. The group that Jesus takes notice of? Or can you count yourself among the truly thankful by honoring, loving and praising God? Don’t be too quick to raise your hand among the thankful. There is a test question first; Do you honor, love and praise Him even when things are bad? The answer is yes. No matter what happens in our life, what tragedies might befall us, or what blessings may come our way, we honor Him, love Him, and praise Him. It is, after all, His will for us.
Rejoice always pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thess. 5:16-18