Summary: A right philosophy is one that is overflowing with thankfulness. Gratitude is nothing less than the key to happiness.
A Philosophy of Gratitude—Thanksgiving 3 of 4
Col 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him,
Col 2:7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
The passage begins having “received Christ,” this points to a necessary action on the part of the believer. It does not say, because Christ came, or because He exists or because you have heard of Him or any other thing, if you have not personally received Him, then He is not yours.
The passage moves on to say, “Continue to live in him,” This tells us we need to take action in order “to live in Him”. It also then implies that if we do not “continue”, that is, if we have done the action, then it will be possible to live apart from Him. Of course, I do not mean to say, that we can exist apart from Christ’s existence. Since we know that all things that exist, exist in Him; we know that we are not speaking of life itself, rather the attributes of our lives. So as you have received Christ, let His attributes come to life in you. “Continue to live in his attributes,”
The passage now says we need to be “rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as we were taught.” If you picture in your mind your spiritual roots, exactly what is it you see your roots going down into?
We want to see our roots sink deep into everything that Christ is. Christ is sacrificial and obedient, He is innocent, humble, gentle, and meek. Meek in that he did not seek fame, fortune or selfish gratification; He did not come to take, but rather to give. This attitude that was in Christ is where we sink our roots.
Back to verse seven “and overflowing with thankfulness.” We seldom think of Christ as thankful. But in the scriptures when we find Christ in prayer, we find Him being thankful. Thankful to God for revealing His will to the simple, thankful for giving the bread and fish that fed the multitude, for the bread and wine that we know is Communion and Jesus thanked God for listening to Him outside of Lazarus’ tomb.
Thankfulness was a big part of who Jesus was, and we need to follow him in that attitude of thankfulness.
In "The Power of Giving Thanks” By Jeff Jacoby, he writes,
Gratitude is nothing less than the key to happiness.
For this penetrating insight into gratefulness, I am grateful to Dennis Prager, author of the shrewd and perceptive "Happiness is a Serious Problem."
"There is a ’secret to happiness,’" Prager writes, "and it is gratitude. All happy people are grateful, and ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that it is being unhappy that leads people to complain, but it is truer to say that it is complaining that leads to people becoming unhappy. Become grateful and you will become a much happier person."
[Scripture] is filled with expressions of gratitude. "It is good to give thanks to the Lord," begins the 92nd Psalm.
Why? Because God needs our gratitude? No: because we need it. Learning to be thankful, whether to God or to other people, is the best vaccination against taking good fortune for granted. And the less you take for granted, the more pleasure and joy life will bring you.
SOURCE: From, Boston Globe Staff, 11/23/2000. http://www.homiliesbyemail.com/Special/
Colossian 2:8 capitalizes on this same thought, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy.”
Philosophy is more than what we think; philosophy is how we think. Many people want to pull you down into negative thinking, which is a place where the Christian should not go.
Have you ever driven on a dirt road? One where there are ruts? Sometimes after a rain, when the ruts are cut deep, you can actually release the steering wheel and the car seems to drive itself. At times, it seems impossible to get out of the ruts. In our lives, we can get so comfortable driving in the ruts that we forget there are dangers.
When I was in High School, I hung out with some kids who were poor examples. We used to go out on the weekend, party and pretend we were much older than we were. Because of our behaviors, being caught by the police was one of our big concerns. I had one friend who thought he had found the way to avoid being busted. His car fit perfectly over the railroad tracks. Burlington Northern seldom used the railroad in our community, so driving on the tracks seemed like a safe alternative.