How do we demonstrate thankfulness? For so many of us (myself included), our thankfulness to God seems to be reduced to a short prayer before meals and bedtime. Last week, I was convicted about my ways of giving thanks.
Take a minute if you would and read 1 Chronicles 16:8-36. This is a Psalm of thanksgiving. Notice that there are a few things about this passage that seem very different from how we give thanks today. First, verse 8 says: “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” The Psalmist then expresses thankfulness for the things God had done for Israel. However, it was for the purpose of “making known among the nations what he has done.” The thankfulness wasn’t and end in itself: it served a purpose. It wasn’t a simple “Thank you for the food, amen.” After thanking God for what He has done, the Psalmist then shifts gears and begins to thank God for who he is, apart from the things He has done.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t pray and thank God for all the blessings He’s given us, and before meals and before bed may be great times to do that. However, this Psalm sets a clear example: our praise should serve a purpose and should not be an end in itself. Thanksgiving is an amazing opportunity to re-focus on the things that are truly important. I pray that we would all remember to be truly Thankful!