Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thankfulness

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.

                                                                             Romans 1:21-22

In her One Thousand Gifts Devotional, Ann Voskamp reflects on thankfulness and finding everyday graces. We are commanded to be thankful for all God has done, large and small. Our spirits are lifted and we see God more clearly when we are grateful. Thankfulness blesses us by pointing us toward God.

But what is the result of failing to give thanks? Sure, we may not be noticing those small touches of grace each day; we may be grumbly with others; we may tend to take credit for our successes and ignore God’s part or others’ part in our good fortune. But is that all?

Ann Voskamp points to Romans 1 and suggests that man’s biggest sin is our refusal to glorify God and our refusal to thank Him. The result of this sin is “futile thinking and foolish hearts.”  Neglecting to give thanks is a big deal.

I know of people who were unsatisfied with their lives. They didn’t appreciate the people who loved them. They turned from God and abandoned everything to search for “something better.”  I am quite sure that, without  appreciation for others and without a profound gratitude to God, the “other side” will never be greener.

I see in my own child a lack of gratitude, resulting in anger, resentment, and defiance. She doesn’t appreciate all that she has, nor does she honor God. Her thinking is indeed “futile.” Her view of the world and how it works is quite skewed. I know that some of this is just immaturity—the early teen years are seldom associated with rational thinking, but much of the attitude springs from an ungrateful heart.

And me…How often do I dwell on the problems of today when I could be remembering what God has done in the past? How often am I so distracted by the busyness of life that I don’t stop to just sit and really appreciate the birds singing or a moment of silence or a good meal?

I am wondering how to encourage more of an attitude of gratitude in my home. I think I will try to add to the “thousand gifts” list that I started a few years ago. I also think that speaking my thanks aloud more will encourage others to also be grateful.  “Giving thanks in everything” is a big deal to God and I want it to be more a part of my life.

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