Gratitude – Be Thankful
Among the many attitudes discussed in the New Testament is gratitude. It isn’t just a good idea, though; it’s God’s command. Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Not too many years ago, I had a debate with an atheist. He held to an ethical system called utilitarianism. His philosophy was that if something was useful for getting along in society then you should do it. This is how he rationalized his behavior including saying “Thank you,” to other people. He wasn’t genuinely thankful to others when they did something helpful to him, he was just saying the words because they were useful to him in getting along in society. Such is not the attitude that we are to have toward God’s word. It is true that practicing God’s word will help us get along with others, but that is a blessing that results from believing in God and His word, not the rationale for our practicing it.
Sometimes I wonder if we haven’t adopted this philosophy doing things simply because they are useful instead of doing them to please God regardless of whether they are useful or not. Truly giving thanks is one of these things. Do we say “thank you” to those closest to us? Do we genuinely thank those who help us? Do we recognize the graciousness of others when they do something for our benefit by telling them “thank you?” How many of us,instead of asking God for one thing or another, spend time in prayer just thanking Him? We are not thankful enough, and we need to be a thankful people. May God help us to have the highest of motives when we say, “thank you,” and not take things for granted.