There is SO much to say on this. I’ll try to keep it to the point…
Every single one of us is so pathetically selfish.
Thanksgiving is a word that requires two things.
- Feeling genuinely thankful
- Giving something BECAUSE of that feeling
The way Christians currently practice thanksgiving I think it would be more appropriate to rename it “Thanks-saying!”
Currently there isn’t a whole lot of GIVING going on when we Christians offer thanks.
It is really sad considering since the very beginning of God’s covenant with Abraham we were told that we would be blessed that we might “BE
a blessing.” Jesus reiterates this by commanding that we love our neighbor as we love ourselves (I bet next to nobody spends the same amount of money on others as themselves!), and then Paul in 2 Corinthians says that God will provide all we need so we can do “every good work.” We have been equipped to do EVERY good work. That means no more hunger, thirst, poverty, or illness. No more orphans. No more refugees. No more war.
Rich Stearns confirms some of this in his book The Hole in our Gospel, arguing that if US Christians merely TITHED (currently we give 1% as a whole body and then keep 99% of that 1% for ourselves) we could solve global hunger, thirst, and treatable illness. That’s just the United States body of believers…
There are an estimated 143,000,000-210,000,000 orphans in the world. As of 2008 there were over 173,000,000 Christian adults living in the United States. If every Christian adult (in the United States) adopted ONE child, then there would be a drop of 82-100% of orphans… GLOBALLY!
If we embraced our own immigrant/refugee statuses we could drop this ridiculous “illegal immigrant” rhetoric for millions of working members of society.
If the United States spent HALF of our nearly $700 billion military budget on global development projects we probably wouldn’t have enemies to fight.
When we add in our worldwide body of believers our power grows exponentially! Think if we were a religion dedicated to what Jesus came to do? Namely, bring good news to the poor, release captives, and practice Jubilee (redistribution of wealth)!
How would “the World” see Christians then?
James tells us that “every good and perfect gift is from God.” If that is true that means every breath we take, every morsel of food we eat, every dollar we make, and every mercy we are extended is a gift from God and not something we’ve earned for ourselves. If those are the gifts we have been given, then the world deserves the same from us.
Christians, let’s take this opportunity to crucify ‘thanks-saying’ by practicing a TRUE thanksgiving offering! Let’s actually give the world what it needs (our time, care, and resources) and not what we want to offer it (wasted and insulting breaths in the forms of prayers). Let’s put to death our own hypocrisy.