Better Than Thanksgiving

The pronounced absence of thankfulness in our day results in our being caught off guard by sincere expressions of appreciation. In my experience, such expressions are most often seen within the fellowship of believers. We are taught at home and in Sunday school to be thankful, and this in proportion to the gift. Therefore Paul’s statement in Philippians 4:11 is arresting. He begins what should be his thank you note dismissing the need for any help. The situation apparently didn’t warrant such generosity. He commends the Philippians, but never actually says thank you. How disappointed his mother would be if she read this. The truth is he immediately turns the focus off himself, and onto God, reinforcing the disconnection between joy and financial security. In fact, his thanksgiving is directed to God alone for the fruitfulness of the believers in Philippi, and the credit they receive for their support. They gave sacrificially (2 Corinthians 8:1-5), but they did not receive Apostolic praise. Instead they received much more, namely confirmation that God himself would respond in kind. We still need to be thankful, but this lesson from Paul should help us keep the right perspective when that doesn’t happen.

2 thoughts on “Better Than Thanksgiving

  1. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU HEARD TODAY ‘THAT’S NOT FAIR” We are taught in many instances at home, school, church, job, sports and government that life has got to be fair. There is more time spent teaching keeping things fair than on keeping a thankful attitude. The argument goes “If we are being unfairly treated then our thanksgiving can be in direct proportion to the fairness of any given situation. Hardly a recipe for a total thankful heart. Paul knew that life was not fair and he gave thanks for that. The fact is if life was fair we all would go to hell so we can be thankful it is not. .

  2. The attributes I find so beautiful about the Apostle Paul is his absolute Christ conscientiousness or cognizance and his total dependence on Christ. It is as if he existed in a Christ vacuum, with our Lord as his only Lifeline and life planner and I do not believe he thought in legalistic terms as he had done in his upbringing when he was know by a different name, educated at the feet of Gamaliel, both a Pharisee, and from the tribe of Benjamin.

    By turning what could have been a statement of thanksgiving into a statement of credit to each givers Heavenly account, I believe he saw the complete picture before contemplating the parasitical consequences of his oral statement.

    The sacrifice served on the cross will forever outweigh any genuine outpouring of thanksgiving on our part – All the same, thank you Jesus.

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