With the Thanksgiving holiday being celebrated today, it is a day where many take time to be with family and friends and reflect on the things that they are thankful for. It is great to have a day set aside to give thanks; but for Christians, it is important to cultivate a lifestyle of thanksgiving to God.
Giving thanks is a powerful thing. It helps us enter into the presence of God, remember His goodness, and appreciate all that He does for us. It takes the focus off of ourselves and our problems, and onto the greatness of our God. (Check out this article on the importance of giving thanks).
Is it Dangerous to Not Give Thanks?
While the things I mentioned above might not come as a surprise, you might be surprised to hear that it is actually dangerous to not give thanks. Romans 1:21 says, “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened…” Having a knowledge of God, but not praising Him or giving Him thanks leads to a darkening of the heart and mind. The passage goes on to describe a progression into rebellion and further darkness.
In 1 Timothy chapter 3, Paul begins by saying that “perilous times are coming.” Then he lists sins and harmful behaviors that will mark this time. In the middle of the list—along with such things as pride, greed, and selfishness—he puts the word “unthankful” (see 1 Timothy 3:2).
Being thankful helps us to remember God. It keep things in the proper perspective. When we fail to give thanks, we take His blessings for granted and our hearts can become hard.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving, take time to think about everything you are thankful for. Spend time in praise and thanks to God. Thank Him for the big things, and also for the “little” things that you might often take for granted.
But don’t let it stop as a one-day celebration. Cultivate a lifestyle of giving thanks to God every day. Come before Him like the Psalmist prescribes:
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
May we make a daily practice of giving God the thanks that He is due!