I’m addicted to the pithy quotes that hammer us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest. Without some careful examination we may retweet or like some pretty errant ideas. “Oh, that is a Hindu mantra from Starbucks cup? Oops.”
I have seen some version of this one floating out there, unsure as to the original source.
This may refresh an unconscious mindset. It’s pretty easy to see scripture as merely dutiful obligations. God sets out His demands and we begrudgingly hand over our obedience. God gets what He wants out of us and we get box checked.
While that might be our version of obedience it is not God’s. He wants something FOR US. He wired us. He knows what is best and good for our souls. He sees the cosmic battle of sin for what it is–it is an epic bait and switch. Sin is ultimately unsatisfying, deceptive and destructive.
If we read scripture as something God wants FOR US it frees us from a guilt-ridden, foot-dragging mentality about obedience. Remember Truth sets us FREE from something. John 8:32
The thrust of the above quote was “giving” but as I processed it I realized many concepts could fit in that blank. Let’s apply this to the themes of this season.
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
God wants gratitude FOR us.
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11
God wants generosity FOR us.
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13
God wants contentment FOR us.
God wants these things FOR us because He wants to free us FROM:
- Constant comparisons
- Unrealistic expectations
- Overlooked blessings
- A wasted life and resources
- Failed sources of identity
Because HE KNOWS these things are the enemies of our hearts. They drive our bad choices and rob us of our peace, joy and ultimate satisfaction. Plus He knows this to be true as well:
“Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” Harry Ironside
The tools in the battle of self-absorbed living? Thankfulness.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 1 Chronicles 16:8
I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30
Push the reset button on your perspective of gratitude, generosity and contentment. We do God no favors in our thanksgiving. He is doing us one. Setting us free.
Published November 27, 2013