“Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,…” –Deuteronomy 8:11-14
It seems a little crazy to say this but the more we have the harder it is to be thankful. At least that’s what the Bible says. It seems that we have to be very careful to be thankful and remember God’s blessings when we are doing well and things are good in our life. It’s the kind of “reverse logic” the Bible often brings to light.
The Bible notes that there is a natural temptation to forget to remember God and to be less thankful when times are good. It’s one of those up is down and down is up moments in the Bible. Logic tells me that when we are living in good times and have more to be thankful for we should be more appreciative, more thankful, more in touch with how good life is than when we have hard times and have less to be thankful for. But my logic is wrong. It’s the other way around. Sometimes the less we have the more we appreciate what we do have and the more we have the more we take it for granted and come to expect it. I have seen this in my own life and in the life of our church. We have it darn good but sometimes just take it for granted or think it’s darn good due to us and forget that it’s good because God has made it so. It seems illogical to me; one would think the more we have the more grateful we would become…but that’s not how it always works.
Sometimes when we have everything we could ever ask for we begin to get so used to it that it’s the standard we come to expect and take for granted. Sometimes the danger of being rich is that we forget that God is the source of our blessings, not ourselves or not that we are that much more brilliant than those who have less or any better. It’s one of the many dangers of having too much. We forget what it is like to struggle and to work hard and to be thankful to God for all we have. It seems like the bigger the house we live in the less time we have for God and less thankful we are for what God has given us. I see it all the time. I see it comes to people being thankful for our church. We tend to take it for granted and think it’s always going to be this way.
We are living in blessed times. Most of us have more than we have ever had in life. Most of us don’t worry about where our next meal is coming from. Most of us are pretty richly blessed. It seems a shame that we have to be reminded to recognize all our blessings, to be thankful for them and to honor God by keeping his commandments…not even in good times but especially in good times.
As Thanksgiving dawns upon us yet again let us pause in the midst of our blessings and bow our heads and with a genuine and sincere heart recognize that, with our blessings, comes the Lord and the more we have the more we thank him and live the way he wants us to live. Truly rich people are rich not because of how much they have or don’t have but by virtue of knowing whatever they have comes from God.