November 24, 2016

Giving Thanks

The writer of Hebrews reminds me that Thanksgiving should not to be limited to earthly abundance and blessings, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire” (Heb 12:28 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Mental processes not only define the course of our lives, but also who we are. One person is always aware of others around her. She understands they have needs and interests and desires and heartaches just like she has. So she makes her own decisions in accordance with such understanding, altering her courses of action slightly to accommodate others as she comes to know more about them. Another guy could care less. He always ponders his own interests and expects the people around him to make way. They each define themselves a bit by what they feed this mental process of relating to the people around them.
-----There’s a relational process even more fundamental than that. It relates not only everything and everyone around to the self, but it even relates the intangibles of life, the social concepts shared within groups and communities, and even one’s own recurring thoughts and memories and feelings to the self. After the first step of mental perception comes the second step of mentally relating to that perception. It can go that deep.
-----Most people go through life relating everything to themselves as being mere streams of happenstances crossing their paths one at a time with little rhyme or reason. Some view life as chaotic happenstance. Others view life as a glorious affair, because they perceive natural harmony as the basics of happenstance. And a few have the audacity to think they themselves are responsible for all the blessings in their lives. Far more live just to blame happenstance or God for all the disasters they’ve systemically caused themselves. None of that is basic psychology for Jesus’ followers.
-----Paul tells us to give thanks always, “always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” (Eph 5:20) I suppose this could be just a literary device for impressing the importance of thanksgiving so we’ll do it now and then. But my thoughts go beyond that supposition to make sense of thanksgiving as being a deep part of healthy psychology generated by a spirit alive in the Holy Spirit.
-----Psychology is healthy when it deals truthfully with reality. The reality is, through Christ Jesus, God not only blesses us, He has our backs, and He directs our steps through the situations we encounter, good and bad alike. And all of this happens within the borders of what He approves to be for us, which makes life safe for us, not that we will get only good things now, but that regardless of what we get we’ve got bliss for eternity hereafter. Our call upon Jesus places us in His hands for only good, though happenstance or purposeful action might shovel garbage into our faces.
-----Therefore we can thank God for everything. Thanking Him for anything which even causes a perception steers the rest of our thoughts and emotions about it into a course of partnership with God by recognizing His involvement in us for good. It not only makes for a whole lot of healthy thinking to come, but by its being an ongoing, “always“ process, God is even thanked for that healthy thinking as it comes. It is kind of like Norton 360. Maybe it does consume a little more processing time than other programs, but its pretty good at filtering out the viruses.

Love you all,
Steve Corey