Thanksgiving week is upon us, bringing lots of great time to spend with family and friends. Eat some turkey, watch some football on TV, play some football in the yard, and hopefully enjoy lots of laughter and love with those you care about the most.
Thanksgiving is a great reminder to Christians that we should ALWAYS be thankful. Here are five truths from God’s Word to help you measure your spiritual maturity in the area of thankfulness.
Level 1 – Be thankful.
Followers of Jesus Christ should not be ungrateful, unappreciative or living with an attitude of entitlement. Rather, we should be a thankful, grateful people.
And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
Level 2 – Give thanks to the Lord.
It is one thing to be thankful. You can be thankful for lots of people and lots of things. It is a deeper level of spiritual maturity to be thankful to the Lord for those people and those things. Every good and perfect gift comes from above. In your thankfulness, remember: give thanks to the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. (Psalm 107:1)
Level 3 – Give thanks in all circumstances.
Many people remember to give thanks when there is plenty of food in the house, everyone is healthy, and life is going smoothly. But when there are troubles, do you still give thanks? You can give thanks in the midst of all circumstances because the Lord is with you. This takes a measure of spiritual maturity to give thanks even when there are health challenges, financial challenges, relationship challenges or other difficulties in life. But Christ-followers give thanks in all circumstances.
Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Level 4 – Give thanks for everything.
If you think it takes spiritual maturity to give thanks in all circumstances, it takes another level of maturity to thank God for everything: thanking God for the illness, thanking God for the lost job, thanking God for the struggles you are experiencing. The only possible way you can do this is by realizing that God is sovereign and in charge. He has a plan. And what you are experiencing now is causing you to look to him more, to seek him and trust him and depend on him. And you trust that his plan is the best. When you realize this, you can give thanks for everything, good and bad.
Giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
Level 5 – Give thanks to the Lord for Jesus.
As you continue to grow spiritually, you will clearly see that if you have Jesus then you have everything you need. You can be thankful in every circumstance and for everything. Your thanks will be to the Lord. You will be thankful. Jesus is with you and will never forsake you. He is your Lord, your friend, your leader, your helper, your peace, your wisdom, your Savior, and so much more! He is God’s greatest gift to us, and he is truly everything that you need.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15)
What level are you at?
Why not take a moment this Thanksgiving as you sit around the table with family and friends, and discuss these five levels of thankfulness? Enjoy your discussion!