When my mom said, “Son, what do you say?” that usually meant I’d received a gift that I didn’t really want from a person I didn’t know or didn’t want to kiss or to kiss me. There are lines a boy doesn’t want to cross, and orange lips cross the line.
On the other hand, my mom never had to remind me to thank my grandfather or my uncles. They always got it right when it came to picking out the right gifts. It must be intuitive from man to man. We just know what other males want for gifts. More than that we know what other males DO NOT want for gifts – sweaters, socks, cologne…We can pick these things out ourselves, but I digress.
We celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday. I suppose you will enjoy food and family like Brenda and I will. You may even have occasion to speak up at the dinner table to express thanks for something in your life.
According to the New Testament, believers live a life that makes every day Thanksgiving Day.
Thankfulness is one of the outstanding marks of a follower of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul makes a big deal about being thankful. In nearly every one of his New Testament books, he expresses thanks to God, or he encourages his readers to do the same.
Believers are thankful because thankfulness reflects the change of heart that takes place at salvation.
Prior to salvation human beings are independent and selfish. They believe that what they have they worked for. A good test grade results from good study habits. A promotion at work comes after months or years of diligent service to an unruly boss and an unappreciative company. Children who are not an embarrassment to the family became that because of the rigidity and drive of parents. Whatever is good about us is good because we did it. It’s purely American thinking and purely pagan.
Further, human beings think that was is given to them is owed to them because of who they are. My mom is supposed to feed me because I am here son. My dad is supposed to buy my clothes because I am his son. My daughter is supposed to do the dishes because I am her dad. My friend is supposed to return my calls or texts because I’m his friend, and on and on.
The change of heart that takes place at salvation alters our very beings so that where we were independent we are now dependent, and where we were selfish we are not selfless.
A follower of Jesus Christ recognizes his dependence on his Lord for salvation. The result is that he recognizes his dependence on his Lord for everything else. Good grades are the gift of God by way of a good mind and the influence of the Holy Spirit to be disciplined. A promotion at work is the gift of God by way of a strong body, overall good health, contentment with the employer, and a disposition monitored and molded by the Holy Spirit.
The Christian recognizes dependence in all things because he knows dependence in the main thing – his salvation.
A follower of Jesus Christ looks outside of himself not inward at himself. He sees people as those whom he can serve and not as those who exist to serve him. The mirror is not his favorite piece of household accessories, but the kitchen sink, the laundry room, or the garbage can is. He serves because he’s thankful that Christ served him on the cross.
“Son, what do you say?” My answer, “Thank you, Father, for everything!”
As always I welcome your feedback and any suggestions you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.