What is the Reason Behind the Command to be Thankful?

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful~ Colossians 3:25

 I am one of those annoying people who “needs” to know the “why” of just about everything.

 I will not accept or follow medical advice I do not understand. I am more than a little reluctant to follow rules that do not make sense to me. And my long-suffering family has a tough time planning any kind of surprise for my birthday, because I generally refuse to go anywhere or do anything unless I fully understanding where I’m going and what I’m going to do when I get there.

 This personal quirk has created more than a few issues in my life. Doctors are not fond of my annoying little questions and rule makers are sometimes hostile to what they perceive as my challenges to their authority. Moreover, my family becomes openly exasperated around my birthday.


This little personality quirk has also created some problems in my relationship with God. Sadly, the Almighty does not routinely feel the need to explain Himself or His commands to me, which to be perfectly honest is tough for me. I’m still working through this issue and things are improving but it’s far from resolved.


 Fortunately for me, there are rare occasions where the Almighty surprises me and by clarifying His position on something by exposing a truth in Scripture that I have never really noticed before. Such was the case this past week when I came across this verse in the book of Romans:

 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened~ Romans 1:21

 For some reason this one little verse illuminated for me the “why” of a whole lot of imperative commands found in the New Testament. Including…

 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus~ 1st Thessalonians 5:18

 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him~ Colossians 3:18

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God~ Philippians 4:6

 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful~ Colossians 4:2

 Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ~ Ephesians 5:19b-20

 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe~ Hebrews 12:28

 According to Romans, those who know God should regularly verbalize their thankfulness to God. Not because God has a need to hear our gratitude. God has no needs, but humans have a need to be grateful. When people refuse to show God the proper gratitude, a spiritual change takes place, first in our thinking and then in our hearts. If that change is left unchecked, the absence of thankfulness will eventually lead to a downward moral and spiritual spiral (Romans 1:21-32). The immorality that results from a lack of gratitude will inevitably end in our own spiritual and moral ruin.

 As we celebrate the one and only day our culture sets aside for thankfulness and enter the season of greed and covetousness that Christmas has become. We should endeavor to remember that Thanksgiving is not just a day of feasting and football, or a fun family day before the frenzied shopping season begins.

 Thankfulness and gratitude are preventative medicine. Thankfulness is also the only reasonable response to the goodness, mercy and provision of God.

 Have a blessed Thanksgiving!    











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