Nor Were They Thankful

One of the benefits of growing up poor is that every little thing becomes a blessing. One Christmas I remember getting a football jersey with my name and number on the back. Thomas in bold letters with the number 49 below. As I wore my new jersey to school, I felt like a big deal receiving compliment after compliment from my classmates. The overwhelming praise validated the necessity for this jersey to be in regular wardrobe rotation. So, I wore the same outfit the next day, then again for the next and yes again.  Four days in a row! By the fourth day, the praise turned to jabs and laughter. Despite the ridicule, I was still thankful for that personalized jersey. I was genuinely grateful to God for receiving something so nice. The greatest thing about having less is that you remember the smallest items!

The challenge for most Americans is that we forget or neglect the source of our blessings. Look down the hallway of humanity and you’ll find this pattern: God blesses man, man is thankful for a season, man forgets to recognize where the blessings came from and doesn’t give thanks.

Romans 1:21 says “Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” With this in mind, I want to give us 2 challenges.

First, knowing God is directly correlated with my thankfulness. God has been good to me and I’m confident that he’s been good to you. Are we properly giving Him glory and gratitude for the blessings in our lives?

Second, let God light up your life as you give thanks. What happens if I don’t recognize God and give Him His proper praise? Our thoughts become futile, our heart becomes foolish and darkened!  James 1:27 says that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” The light and wisdom of God is revealed to us as we return rightful praise to God!

When I first received that glorious jersey, I felt blessed to own; I was truly thankful and humble. But with every wear, the gift itself diminished as it became more about getting praise. When we fail to give continual praise for God’s blessings, our hearts move from humility and thanks to pride and entitlement. What does this have to do with Thanksgiving? Everything! Whether you have a lot or a little; God has provided for you! No matter how many shirts I have – I must give him thanks. That’s what God wants! If God provides food on our tables and puts clothes on our backs, then why do we forget to properly recognize his hand in our lives and give Him thanks?

Imagine if we at RTM actively modeled thankfulness no matter how big or small. Imagine if we helped our neighbors and loved them with the same tenacity (Matthew 22:37-39)! This country will look different as men live selfless, honorable and thankful lives!

Special thanks to the Red Truck Men in Charleston who served two widows last week. This was an incredible display of God’s love. Hope everyone has a blessed thanksgiving.

RTM, Steve Thomas