At this time of year it is always good to ask:
To whom are you GIVING thanks?
Our society is turning all language INWARD to the ISOLATION of the individual.
- People don’t meditate on something external like Scripture. They feel mindful. They practice mindfulness.
- People don’t dialog with each other. They feel offended. They take offense.
And in line with our current holiday week,
- People don’t GIVE thanks. They feel thankful. They practice thankfulness.
But this is an opportunity to ask them if they know the cook who cooked up this awesome feast of our universe with all its beautiful, breathtaking, and life-giving GIFTS.
A great feast requires a great cook! You know the cook. Introduce your friends and family to the cook. It’s always a special thing to meet the cook in a restaurant, and it is even more special to meet the cook of the universe.
A Sin of Omission?
Is ingratitude a sin?
The ungrateful are often (always?) focused on self. They are curved inward in all their thinking. This curving inward is an ancient description of the “S-word” SIN.
“Martin Luther is credited with concretizing the term “homo incurvatus in se”, humanity curved in upon itself. In reality, the roots of the term extend back to Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. While the two men were separated by over a millennium, their descriptions of sin still give us an excellent metaphor for understanding sin today.” Read more…
Being passively “thankful” is dangerously close to “incurvatus in se“. It eliminates any “other” and makes the conscience warm and fuzzy by stoking the feels.
However, if you are thankful, you are thankful for things you RECEIVED, which implies a GIVER.
Wait! you say. I’m thankful for my own mind, my own resourcefulness, and my own ability to work hard for what I have.
Of course you can be thankful for these things. But your mind, your mental health, and the food and structures that allow you to work are still gifts.
18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. 19 Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil–this is the gift of God. [Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 ESV]
Do not curve your thanks upon yourself to result in generic thankfulness. Give your thanks to God – the Great Gift Giver!
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights… [James 1:17 ESV]
Come discuss this and other topics related to a rational defense of the Christian truth claims, every Monday night while school is in session at SHSU at 6:30 to 8 PM in CFS 123.