Surprising as it may seem, it’s November, and soon Thanksgiving will be upon us. For many of us, Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday. When I was growing up (and considerably less thankful than I am now), I thought it was fine. I liked food and football, I tolerated my family, and I liked that once Thanksgiving was out of the way we could move on to the real fun: Christmas.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve worked to cultivate a mindset of thankfulness, and one method I’ve employed is the routine consideration of the blessings I enjoy (i.e., lots of them) and the blessings I deserve (i.e., none of them).
Strictly speaking, can there be a thankless Christian? I suppose it’s possible, but it’s hard to imagine. How can a person be mindful of his sinfulness, the holiness of God, and the atoning work of Jesus and be glib or act entitled? I don’t think he can.
Further, thankfulness is a potent weapon because the grateful man cannot be shaken. He may be battered and physically beaten, he may even be discouraged, but again, he will be mindful of what he deserves as contrasted with what he has been given. When he receives something close to what he deserves (e.g., adversity, affliction, chastisement), he cannot cry “foul!” He responds with (you guessed it!) thankfulness. The enemy has no counter-weapon for thankfulness; the best he can do is work to take it away. From accusation to affliction, Satan can be rather creative in his efforts, but he really wants us to be thankless.
Thankless people are defeated already. They’re entitled, they grumble, and they infect a culture like a juicy bit of gossip. Thanklessness deserves no place in Christian community.
This Thanksgiving season, rehearse your blessings often. Combat affliction and accusations with thankfulness.
—The U.H. (Mr. Sarr)