The Importance of the Practice of Thanksgiving
Continuing this week’s theme of thanksgiving, I am beginning to realize why it is so important. According to this article, thanksgiving has an awful lot of papyrus spent on it in the Bible. God thinks it is important.
Yesterday, I said that thanksgiving was a kind of gateway to being able to know and praise God. This is true, but it is more than that.
We humans are created in God’s image. That’s pretty special. We are the ‘teacher’s pet’ of Creation. That easily can and does lead to us thinking rather more highly of ourselves than we ought, much like many teachers’ pets tend to do. This pride was born in Genesis 3, and like a spoiled brat, has made life miserable for the entire family.
Thanksgiving, an attitude of genuine gratitude to God, is one of the best and least painful ways to keep pride in check in our lives. God has many other ways to bring this about, but continual gratitude is the one we have the most control over and if we can discipline ourselves to live in that state, it tends to reduce God’s need to use more drastic measures.
By being grateful and expressly giving thanks consciously and regularly, it builds our humility by continually reminding us of our self-insufficiency, and need for His hand in our lives and His role in giving us all of our talents and gifts. It reveals His work in our lives, both directly and indirectly. We are less likely to take Him, and others(!), for granted, and helps us to serve and encourage others with the encouragements we’ve received from Him.
Thanksgiving actually frees us to live our lives, because it is a continual reminder that since we are not in control, we do not have to live with worry and anxiety, but in freedom for joyful obedience. The weight of results is on His shoulders, not ours. And that is definitely something worthy of gratitude!
Day 26 Praise: Praise the Infinite Creative One who made the universe so big we realize He is bigger still, and no box we create will contain Him. What we cannot contain, we cannot control. God is not a creation of man, but his Creator, and I am very glad of that. Any God I can conceive or create is insufficient to my needs and inadequate for my worship. Indeed, if I created him, then I am the object of worship, not my god. And that is scary on too many levels to list.