Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving #1

Parents are always telling their kids to say "thank you."

Little kids are expected to say "thank you" when someone gives them a gift or a compliment. "What do you say...?" is a hint from the parent.

Older kids (through to college age) get reminders to sent out "thank you" cards. Their hint is something like, "Did you remember to send a thank you to aunt Gertrude?"

These are valuable lessons from parents about the right thing to do. Say "thank you." Send a thank you card. This is gracious living. This is good manners. This is civilized culture.

What we really need to learn cannot be taught. "Be thankful." Being thankful requires an attitude of humility, but our society encourages an attitude of entitlement.

This is precisely why little kids are not often genuinely thankful. They think that people SHOULD give them stuff. This is also why many people have no compunction about stealing. They feel entitled to more than they have... so they should be able to take it from others, even including their own family or strangers, stores or employers.

This is another manifestation of human rebellion against God. In our self absorbed pursuit of autonomy we resent God's rights over us and refuse His limits.
(Romans 1:21) 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.
So how about you? Do you have a thankful heart?
God doesn't need grudging thanks - He wants grateful hearts that abound with praise.


MomE said...

Teaching my children to be polite and say the words is a good first step. How do I teach them to have a truly thankful attitude? It truly can't be taught?

Pastor D said...

Parents should enforce the idea of giving thanks - it is a civilizing influence. But genuine thankfulness comes with more maturity and a biblical perspective.

You can model it, but you can't enforce it.