Russell and Duenes

No One to Thank

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Is gratitude crucial to human flourishing?

What kind of person would you rather be?

The kind of person who grumbles against Moses and Aaron: “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”…”Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another,’Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.’…Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us? Moreover, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards.” Do you think you will flourish and enjoy a better life when there’s no one to thank? No one to thank for your good health, for your daily food, for the people who choose to love you, for your employer who keeps you employed, for the beauty of the creation around you, indeed, for all the good circumstances you enjoy that have nothing to do with your efforts? Will you enjoy life more when there’s no one to thank, and when all you can do when things don’t go your way is murmur and complain?

Or the kind of person who “gives thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess.5:18),” who is “overflowing in many thanksgivings to God (2 Cor 9:12),” who is “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:20),” who “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving  is letting your requests be made known to God (Phil. 4:6),” or who is “letting the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God? (Col. 3:16)”

To ask the question is to answer it. Gratitude is the posture human beings were fitted to embrace by our very design. There is great joy and power in it. It is the kind of power I saw at work in my own father at the retirement party we threw for him after 38 years at TWA and American Airlines. It is the profound joy that brought him to tears as he looked around that room and saw all the people to whom he owed gratitude for making his career the success it was. This is why God commands gratitude. He is good and He knows what’s best for us.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Written by Michael Duenes

November 25, 2010 at 10:14 am

Posted in Duenes, Thank the Lord

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