Summary: We see from Scripture that an attitude of thanksgiving is expected of God’s children. We can attain this by keeping our pride, complacency, and critical attitudes in check and our focus on all blessings we have from God.
Always Thankful For All Things
Text: Ephesians 5:20
This Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. One day in which we set aside our busy schedules to be thankful. Now, there is nothing wrong with that but the word of God tells us that thankfulness should be our attitude all the time, in all things.
Ephesians 5:20 (NASB) always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
For many Americans, myself included, we don’t appreciate how good we have it or maybe we just don’t realize. A recent television show about a distant country got me to thinking. When I’m hungry, I don’t have to kill my food or harvest anything (unless I want to for sport or hobby.) I go to the store or a restaurant and get something to eat. Or I just open up my refrigerator and pull out some food and pop it in the microwave. When it’s dark, I turn on the lights. When I’m thirsty I can get clean water out of the tap and add ice if the water isn’t cold enough. When I’m tired, I lay down on my clean, soft bed and go to sleep. If I’m cold, I turn on the furnace. If I’m hot, I seek air conditioning. If I have to go to the bathroom, I go into a room dedicated to that purpose. I bathe daily using clean, hot water. If I’m sick I go to the doctor. If I need to travel I drive my car or my wife’s car. If I need to travel far I can choose from buses, trains, and airplanes. I don’t clean my clothes down at the river; I wash them in my washing machine and dry them in my dryer. If I want music, I turn on my radio, my CD player, or my iPod. If I need information I can get a daily newspaper, hourly news report, or check the Internet.
In many places on Earth, these things aren’t the birthright of every person, they are unimaginable luxuries. So, the next time you start complaining because your TV isn’t big enough or you have to do laundry or you need to make supper or you are stuck in traffic, just think about how blessed we are to have all of those things to complain about. And be thankful.
A.This is about having a proper attitude.
1.Take a moment to consider the words “always” and “all things.”
a.Paul is talking about a continual attitude for Christians; an attitude of the heart expressed in our lives.
b.But how, we ask ourselves, can we have this attitude “always”, especially "for all things?"
c.I believe the answer lies in the attitudes we have which hinder the attitude God wants us to have. We need an attitude check and perhaps an attitude adjustment.
2.I have observed several mindsets, or attitudes, (or call them character flaws) which impede our developing thankfulness in all things, always.
3.A big one is pride. This is the attitude that glorifies me: "Nobody ever gave me anything, I worked hard for everything I have; I earned it all."
a.With this kind of attitude, we feel that we have no one to thank but ourselves we think we did it all ourselves.
1)Pride is what cost Moses the promised land
Read Numbers 20:8-12
2)Pride was the very thing of which Moses warned the Israelites: Read Deuteronomy 8:11-18
3)Paul addressed prideful teachers at Corinth who were full of themselves, boastful of their gifts and knowledge.
1 Corinthians 4:7 (NASB) 7For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
b.Knowledge, skills, abilities; air, water, food; everything we are and everything we have we received in some fashion, and ultimately everything traces back to God.
1)God is the foundation of all things; no man possesses anything but what he has derived from God.
2)Taking pride in our accomplishments only becomes a problem when we forget from whom all blessings flow.
4.Another attitude that keeps us from being thankful is a critical spirit or constant complaining. Instead of being grateful, this person will always find something to complain about: (Illustration)
“A lady known as an incurable grumbler constantly complained about everything. At last her neighbor thought he had found something about which she would be happy, for her corn crop was the finest for miles around. When he met her, he said with a beaming smile, `You must be very happy Mary. Everyone is saying how healthy your corn looks this year.’ `True, it is pretty good, but what am I going to do when I need to feed the pigs?’"