What is being genuinely thankful? Is it buying things for another? Possibly. Is it expressing your thankfulness with words or writings? Possibly. Why just possibly, you might ask. Well, because genuine thankfulness comes from your heart and it is always unconditional. Being born fallen in nature, we are not programmed to give genuine thankfulness to others and least of likely to God.
Thus many “thank you’s” are hollow and meaningless. We inherently know we should be thanking another, so we naturally mouth the words with our heads, not our heart. It is “I better thank them, or they might get mad at me”, done out of guilt, the words are given and we believe we fulfilled the appreciation. And most of the time, the recipient knows whether the thanking was genuine or given from a guilt position.
Now think about it, if we can’t genuinely thank other human beings naturally, how in the world can we give any appreciation to God? The answer is we DON’T! Any thankfulness to God is hollow, meaningless, and done out of guilt. One may know He is the sustainer of all things, so He’ll get a half hearted thank you when He gets them through a misery.
Instead of asking God for things constantly, we should be THANKING Him constantly! For all those things He is doing that we take for granted. You woke up this morning for example to see another day, did you immediately thank God? Or was your first thought on other things, namely yourself.
If saved by Jesus Christ, every moment you live since you were reborn should be in GENUINE thanksgiving to Him! People have asked “how do you know you have been born-again?” My answer would be the discernment in thanksgiving. Because if you fully realized who Jesus is, and what He did on your behalf, indeed every minute of your life should be spent in thanking Him. Am I being too dramatic? If you think so, you probably have NOT been saved nor realized who you are in God’s sight, a dreadful rotten sinner who deserves Hell, not eternal life.
You see, if you have been saved by Jesus, He gave up His life so that you might live! He paid a debt on your behalf you could never in a zillion years pay and satisfied the pending WRATH from God all for you. And what did you do to deserve it? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! He chose you in spite of your rotten self and pardoned you, not based on who you are, but who He is!
The analogy to this is if a person or persons helped you unconditionally with a dire financial debt. You most likely will appreciate these people for as long as you live. Whenever they are present, you will have a genuine feeling of appreciation for them. The same holds for those saved for Jesus, who paid the ULTIMATE debt in your life. So if saved, your appreciation coincides, He should MEAN something to you now, just as those people I described. If He doesn’t? Well you were deceived, not saved. Because those not saved have really nothing to be thankful for in their minds and hearts.
So as you gather around your family and are asked “what are you thankful for?” Really THINK on this question, don’t mouth the words they want to hear, but what is in your heart. What are you truly thankful for?
The ONLY THANKSGIVING DAY which truly matters, is that day of redemption of Jesus, the day He took away your sin debt and proclaimed YOU ARE MINE!