Food for thought

Some food for thought this thanksgiving season. (Get it food for thought, since during thanksgiving there is a lot of food? ...... Well at least I tried).

Here is the bottom line. If we really understand that we are saved entirely by grace, and that grace was costly, then our primary response can only be gratitude. But let’s face it we are not always marked by gratitude. Here are some barriers to gratitude.

i)  “There are always things about a community or congregation that will disappoint us, and because our expectations for the church are high, disappointment and frustration can run very deep” Pohl

ii) We feel entitled to things we think we deserve.

iii) We don’t like to be dependent or indebted to others because self-fulfillment is often tied to individual achievement.

iv)  We are too busy to be thankful

v)   We are envious of what other people have and we what it too.

vi)  By focusing on what we don’t have rather than what we do have.

Ok, but what about when things are hard? Pohl puts it nicely in saying

“Gratitude involves knowing that we are held secure by a loving God, and that the God we worship is trustworthy, despite the nearly unbearable sorrow we might encounter along the way (Ps. 13). A capacity to be thankful in the midst of hard times requires acknowledging that we do not know the whole story, that we are living before it is complete, and that we are thankful for the presence of God and faithful persons in our lives. Gratitude is a crucial way in which death and destruction do not have the final word, and cannot finally define us”

We begin to overcome the spirit of grumbling when we look around the world around us. The goodness. The beauty. By remembering as William Law said, that each new day is a small resurrection. By seeing how others have displayed God’s grace to us. And by celebrating all of these things.

As said at the beginning, I encourage you to remember that grace was freely given to you by the great cost of the cross of Christ. Let’s be encouraged friends.

Ryan Fields