Journey with me through the following hypothetical situation.
Your parents just bought you a brand new car just because that’s what really great, hypothetical parents do. They act on their love for their children. So like a good child, you unfailingly thank your parents for the great, unexpected gift. You thank them for the steering wheel, the cup holders, the fancy touch-screen, the air condition, the quality of paint, the mats on the floor and for every other detail you can think of that’s a part of the car. You thank them in different moments and not all at once. You want them to really know how thankful you really are. The ‘thank you’s’ go on and on and on.
But not once do you actually drive the car.
You can only imagine what your parents would be thinking. This child. Why is he/she telling me ‘thank you’ again and again, yet won’t truly accept my gift? Is he/she really thankful or actually ungrateful?
Do you ever wonder if your ‘thank you’s’ actually mean something to the Lord?
We thank Him for it all – for His sacrifice on the cross, for being our advocate, for giving us victory over sin and death, for the hope He gives, for a great inheritance and all the spiritual blessings, not to mention all the material provisions. We thank Him for it all. Yet we don’t accept His gift. We don’t accept His love. We tell Him we love Him, yet our actions show the opposite. Our hearts are seemingly so full of thankfulness to Him for all the good things, but our lives are a pretty sorry ‘thank you’ card. In reality, we are more ungrateful than thankful. I don’t think we mean to be this way, but it’s what ends up happening when we let words take control of us instead of acts of obedience. It’s what happens when we still want it our way instead of the best way, His way.
Most of our ‘thank you’s’ aren’t sincere. They sound more like this – “Thank you so much. Well, the color is okay, but thank you! It’s a little boxy and not really what I would have picked. But it’s so nice, thank you. Are you sure it has bluetooth capabilities? What about a sunroof?” Thank you’s don’t count when we have our own conditions and just want more. It’s a gift. We can’t put conditions on a gift. We either accept or reject it. Not both.
To show the Lord our thankfulness, we have to use more than words. We have to believe Him. True thankfulness is faith in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s true belief in His character because of who He was and who He continues to be. Thankfulness is true belief in His unchanging, unconditional love, which compels us to love Him, which compels us to obey Him.
Before those words leave our lips, may we be ready to show Him, by faith, our true thankfulness to Him.
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. | Colossians 2:6-7