the weblog of Alan Knox

NOT Thanksgiving

Posted by on Nov 22, 2012 in discipleship | 3 comments

NOT Thanksgiving

Two years ago, I wrote a post called “NOT Thankful.” This seems like a good time to “replay” this post. Why? Because many of us (especially in the United States) are thankful today. But, what about yesterday? What about tomorrow? Next week? Will we still be thankful? If I’m honest – and I try to be – then there are more times when I’m NOT thankful than times when I am thankful. And, my like of thanksgiving has nothing to do with the date or with the blessings of God. It has everything to do with my own heart. What about you?

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NOT Thankful

Thankfulness… thanking God… I thank God for many things… most things… sometimes… even usually.

I have to be honest… I’m not thankful to God for all things.

I’m not.

I want to be.

But I’m not.

Maybe it’s not that important that I be thankful for all things…

…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ… (Ephesians 5:20 ESV)

[D]o not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6 ESV)

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17 ESV)

[G]ive thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you… (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)

Ok. So, maybe it is important to be thankful for all things. But, I must also be honest with myself (and with God and with others) that I’m not thankful for all things. I’m not even thankful for all people. I’m not thankful for all circumstances or events. Sometimes, if I’m completely honest, I’m not thankful for anything at all.

But, since I kept reading passages about thankfulness, I found a passage that mirrors my thankfulness very well:

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ (Luke 18:11-12 ESV)

Finally… a passage about thankfulness that I can completely support!


3 Comments

  1. 11-22-2012

    Alan, please don’t follow the national average caloric intake for today (5,000-6’000 ), it might affect those push-ups. . . . I’m sincerely thankful for you and yours. . . be blessed !

  2. 11-22-2012

    No thanksgiving here in the UK, but there’s never a bad time for giving thanks.

    You’ve certainly touched a chord in my own heart with this post, Alan. Like you, I know I’m not as thankful as I should be. Every day that passes I am probably thankful for something, but every day that passes I am certain there are things for which I do not, will not, seemingly cannot give thanks.

    Later, I sometimes find out what those things are. At the time I may not even be aware of my unthankful heart. But nevertheless it makes a difference.

    When I’m not thankful my heart shrivels and I’m less happy in my life. The sun shines less, the storm clouds seem darker.

    When I’m thankful and grateful my heart beats more strongly and evenly, a contentedness and peace floods through my being, the sun is bright and warm and everything around me is bright and colourful, and the storm clouds evaporate.

    Who benefits most from my gratitude and thankfulness? It’s hard to say. It may be me or it may be those who must endure my company. In truth, we all benefit, I do and they do.

    Father, lead me into ever greater thankfulness regardless of the circumstances I find myself in. In Jesus name, amen. Alan too, and all your people, Lord.

    Thank you Father.

  3. 11-26-2012

    Jeffery,

    Thanks for the concern! I kept my calorie intake down to a respectable level, and I ran a half marathon Thanksgiving morning.

    Chris,

    You said, “There’s never a bad time for giving thanks.” Exactly! And, I love the way the recognition of your own lack of thankfulness leads you to ask God for a more grateful attitude. Perfect!

    -Alan

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