1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
This is the time of year that we pause and take time to reflect on being thankful. We are ALL grateful for many things such as gifts, promotions, employment, shelter, family, friends, transportation, mentors, church, good food, and days off, but our thanks mostly centers around the good things we’ve seen, received, or experienced in our lives. Although its right be thankful for these things, I have learned there’s a wrong way to be thankful.
This passage of scripture written by Paul to the church of Thessalonica disturbs, disrupts, and derails the context of our juvenile thankfulness. While, we say that we are thankful for many things, our actions at times prove to be conditional. Paul challenges us with living three simple actions for our lives: rejoice, pray, and give thanks. These actions are seemingly “so simple a child can do it” until you add the adverbs that modify these actions with stipulations. We are admonished to rejoice ALWAYS (when you feel like it and when you don’t), Pray CONTINUALLY (without stopping EVER), and to give thanks IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. Often, like children, we let our situations, emotions, circumstances, and resources dictate our response.
Paul’s letter challenges me to evaluate my immature tendency to do these three things only on holidays, when receiving gifts, or when I feel like it. My heart is challenged to mature from being situationally thankful and move towards lifestyle of thankfulness for all and in all circumstances. This is the blueprint for a grown up response. Giving a grown man’s thanks is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus!
Can we talk about it?
What are some things that you are currently going through that you need a more biblically mature response to?
How does this way of responding to things affect your perceived witness or the way you witness to others?