O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: For his mercy endureth for ever (Psalm 136:1, KJV)
In this week of Thanksgiving in the US, the Psalmist exhorts us above to give thanks “unto the LORD”. Let me focus on the words “unto the LORD”. Gratitude or thankfulness is not a virtue of isolation. That means you do not just feel grateful all alone for this or for that. You are grateful for something TO SOMEONE. This is where the culture around us crashes headlong. Thanksgiving is often viewed as a moment to the thankful. The “for” is often emphasized, such as being thankful for the good things in life but the “to” is often concealed and almost erased.
The first part of the “to” in thanksgiving starts here amongst us, that is, to another human being. There are people who have touched your life in one way or another. Learn to be grateful TO these people. Our generation is raising a generation of kids with an unparalleled degree of entitlement and ingratitude. They are not thankful to the parents that have poured their lives to raise them up. Culture is teaching them to be “thankful for the good things in life” but not to be “thankful TO those parents”. This attitude is not just limited to kids but can take over anyone of us. Do you really appreciate people who have touched your life in a small or big way? Last week, I met a police officer, and I began thinking of how these men and women pour out their lives(in the overwhelming majority of cases) to ensure our security.When I think about what I have seen back home in my nation, and what I see in these officers, I felt I should tell them “thank you for what you are doing”. It has been said many Americans do not know what they have …until they lose it someday. I pray this “day” never comes to teach the lesson the hard way.
The second and ultimate “to” goes to the LORD, the Giver of all good things. Yes, in appreciating the men and women that have touched our lives, we recognize the Father, who is the Giver of all good things and are grateful to Him. The Psalmist above goes further and was grateful to Him for His enduring mercy. What about the gift of the Son of God who died to bring us such a blessed salvation? What about the Gift of the Holy Spirit or His precious Word? What about the blessedness of being called a child of God? Oh, give thanks unto the LORD for His goodness towards us!
Do you truly appreciate the things people have done for you? Is it important to recognize that other people have made sacrifices, whether big or small for you?
APPLY THE WORD
I want you to be grateful not only “for ” but “to”. Who are those you should be grateful to? Do not spiritualize this thing! I know you are grateful to God, but I want you to think about the people God has used to bless your life. How many names can you think of? Do you need to call or text someone and day “I am so thankful for …..” Then recognize Father God, who is the Giver of all good things and to whom all thanksgiving ultimately is due.
Ask the Father to give you a spirit of gratitude every single day, not just on Thanksgiving day.