Okay, I’m a snob. I don’t like leftovers. Not even Thanksgiving leftovers fire me up. I always feel a twinge of disappointment when it's time for leftovers. Just hearing the word "leftovers" sounds like a big let down, as if we are compassionately making room in our bellies for the food that didn't get picked in the first round. “Man, we asked God to bless this last week.”
But hopefully the idea of remaining thankful doesn’t ever strike you as stale.
In Romans chapter 1, Paul shows the downward spiral of sinful living with no regard to God:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Romans 1:18-23
God’s wrath isn’t just something that is coming. It is something that is here, resting on everyone who refuses the grace of their Creator. He has made Himself plain to them, but instead they chose sin, which requires them to suppress the truth. If you would rather have sin than God, you will do whatever it takes to deny, discredit, and doubt God’s very existence.
And one of the key things, highlighted above for emphasis, is a refusal to give thanks. Your capacity for faith is directly tied into your willingness to rightly acknowledge that God has provided for you. Much sincere appreciation to God for His goodness shows genuine faith (see Luke 17:11-19), refusal to acknowledge God’s goodness puts your mind on a different track, a Romans 1 track, which spirals into foolishness (v22), idolatry (v23), sensual living (v24-27), malicious evil (v29)… and the applause of sin (v32). How did it get that bad?
Well, it doesn’t happen in a person’s life overnight, any more than it happens society-wide overnight. The gas fueling the furnace of sinful, immoral, God-less living is unthankfulness, just as thankfulness fuels the furnace of faith.
Are you a thankful person? How does thankfulness show up in your life?
p.s. - made it this far without saying “it’s not just about thanksGIVING, it’s about thanksLIVING”. You knew it was coming :)