I decided to use my November church newsletter article as a Thanksgiving day post. It's a little preachy, so you don't have to read it, but if you want to, here it is: Today we celebrate Thanksgiving. A holiday that is created for the sole purpose of giving thanks to God for all the blessings that we have. Most of us do very well to say "thank you" to God during this time of year. However, thanksgiving goes further than merely saying "thank you" to God for what we have. If we say the words yet behave in an ungrateful manner, we are, in fact, ungrateful.
So what does this mean practically? If we thank God for giving us the money we have, but refuse to give Him control of it, we are not actually thankful for it. We have demonstrated that we believe that we somehow deserve what we have and therefore can do with it as we please. If we thank Him for health or a good mind but squander those things living for ourselves, we are not thankful. Or, if we say we are thankful for our salvation but never tell others about it we are not thankful. Witnessing is a key component of obedience with our testimony.
We live our beliefs. In other words, the things we do are because of what we believe. James 1:17 says that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. If this is true, it should affect the way we live. We show thanks to God by our obedience. Would you want your child to say "thank you" regularly but disrespect what he or she has been given? If he always thought he deserved more, or she always took for granted your gifts, you would be disappointed and you would rightly feel disrespected. When we treat God this way, we do the same. Please allow this day to be a reminder that our Heavenly Father deserves both our gratitude and our obedience.