Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so it is a good time to pause and meditate on this crucial virtue.
As we repeatedly stress at Grace Christian Fellowship, humility is the great virtue. Without it the other virtues will not prosper. And, the heart and soul of humility is thankfulness. When we thank God we are confessing that we are not sovereign over our own lives, that Another is, that we are utterly dependent upon him for everything, that we have no right to anything from his hand but judgment, and that, if this is true, we are always getting much better than we deserve.
This is the root and foundation of a thankful heart.
Thankfulness assumes and confesses these truths. This is why we find an ungrateful child so unattractive. The child is not in contact with reality. He or she is proud. They think they deserve better than they are getting, and we know that this is patently false. It is the arrogance––expressed by complaining––that we find so distasteful.
For this reason scripture makes much of thanksgiving. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving” (Ps. 100). “Giving thanks always and for everything” (Eph. 5:20). “Be thankful! …admonishing one another…with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:15-17). Brothers and sisters, the Bible doesn’t contain many statements more comprehensive than this.
So, as you eat turkey next Thursday surrounded by family and friends, humble yourself with thanksgiving. Take the low road confessing your great need and God’s great goodness. Confess what you deserve and the judgment you have not received. Instead, at the expense of his Son, you are getting kindness, mercy, grace, and love.
So, “overflow with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:27).