I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. – Psalm 7:17
As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday this year I am reminded of all the things that I have to be thankful for. I have a loving, personal God who cared enough about me to send His own Son to die for me, so I could live with Him eternally. God has blessed me with a beautiful wife, both inside and out, who loves me and supports me. He has given me a wonderful family, and wonderful friends that I can count on day and night to be there for me. And I have a great job, where I can take what I used to struggle with and turn it around to help others struggling with the same thing.
‘I don’t have it,
I deserve it,
so I’m going to take it.’
And yet I also realized that I don’t take nearly as much time as I should to thank God for all of His wonderful provisions for me. Often I take them for granted, as if I deserve them, as if they were owed to me. At the EMB Workshop, Joe talks about this sense of entitlement as being one of the roadblocks to recovery. He says that when we feel like we deserve something, and don’t look at it as a gift, that we are setting ourselves up for failure and for relapse. You know what I mean. ‘My wife’s been cold lately, and I deserve sexual gratification, so getting on the internet one time isn’t going to hurt anything.’ Being thankful for what you have is the opposite of entitlement. Entitlement says, ‘I don’t have it, I deserve it, so I’m going to take it.’ Thankfulness says, ‘I have it, I probably don’t deserve it, and I’m going to share it and be grateful for it.’
‘I have it,
I probably don’t deserve it,
and I’m going to share it
and be grateful for it.’
I heard a sermon at my church one time by a man named Jim Burns, who heads up the organization ‘Youth With a Mission.’ The title of his message was ‘Thank Therapy,’ and he shared that each day he tells the Lord twenty things that he is thankful for. It could be as small as that his car started that morning. It could be that he even has a car! Or it could be that he has the opportunity to influence thousands of people around the world with the ministry that God has given him. They don’t have to be big things, but they are all things that keep Jim from having the sense of entitlement. How about you? As this Thanksgiving season approaches, how about giving ‘Thank Therapy’ a try. Look for good qualities in your wife and others, share those qualities with them, and thank them for being in your life. And thank the Lord for them, and all the things He has given you. It could turn out to be the best Thanksgiving Holiday you’ve had in a long time!
– Dave Boyle