In Monday’s post I talked about the nature of Thanksgiving discussions among many Christians. We are quick to point out our gratitude for a good job, a good deal on a car, or a house selling for lots of money. These are, without question, good gifts from God that should cause us to be thankful.
However, we have been given much more than material possessions. The lyrics to “Give Thanks” say,
Let the weak say ‘I am strong’
Let the poor say ‘I am rich’
Because of what the Lord has done for us
Let’s just break those down a bit.
“I am strong”
This statement could be, and frequently is cited as praising God for good health, for physical strength. But this deeply misunderstands our flaws and needs. The Gospel centered reflection upon our weakness shows that our most pressing needs are not physical, but spiritual.
Our weakness is not primarily that we have physical diseases but that we are spiritually diseased and unable to heal ourselves. It is only when our weakness has been replaced with the righteousness of Christ that we can say “I am strong.”
“I am rich”
Again, we could look at our material wealth and conclude that we say “I am rich” because of God’s good gifts. And, as an American Christian, this would be true. However, this perspective tells a story that doesn’t center on the Gospel. Instead of proclaiming material wealth, proclaim the spiritual wealth that is only yours through Christ! 2 Corinthians 8:9 says,
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
Clearly, the riches that we should be most thankful for are the spiritual riches bought for us by the precious blood of Christ. Any celebration of riches that does not major on these riches cannot be considered Gospel centered.
This Thanksgiving, give thanks for your strength and your riches. But do so with a recognition of which strength and which riches are most valuable. In short, give thanks for the best gifts.