When “Thank you” sounds hollow

I would observe we live in a time when entitlement mentality reigns.

“I’m paying that person to serve me.”

“That’s their job.”

“What they did was no big deal.”

What is the cost of saying, “Thanks” to the people around us? 

How does expressing thanks undo anything?

I’m at a station of life where I’m so very thankful on so many levels.

I’m thankful for our civil servants (I’m talking more locally than nationally) who help to create an ordered society.

I’m thankful for our men and women in various uniforms (military, police, national guard, etc.) who desire to protect our nation and our nation’s citizens.

I’m thankful for teachers who serve so many at-risk students in undervalued ways.

I’m thankful for EMTs, and Dr.’s, and nurses who strive to help people connected to their health.

I’m thankful for a free nation.

And the list goes on and on and on.

I once had someone say to me maybe one of the worst and most detestable things I’ve ever heard. They said out loud, “After all I’ve done in my life, I think God owes me.”

I would note that this person said out loud what many of us are too cautious and sophisticated to say.

Is it possible to say, “Thank you” when you feel and think you are owed?

“I’ve earned this. Pay up/Do what you owe me/Do your job.” All of these tributaries flow from the same river. It’s the river of ingratitude.

It shows up in phrases like "God owes me".

I’ve taken a personal inventory of what God owes me and it is quite a list. I’ve done a lot of “earning” and I “deserve” payment.

I earned guilt. With the way I’ve treated many people in life, I should walk about feeling guilty.

I earned shame.

I earned people thinking poorly of me.

I earned hell. With the sins in my life, I deserve it.

So as we enter into our national season we call, “Thanksgiving” I’m praying for a national “Stop being so entitled, take stock and inventory of the many wonderful things in your life, stop whining, and grow up” day.

I don’t know about you, but I’m so thankful that God doesn’t treat me as I’ve earned and as I deserve. I’m so deeply on my knees thankful for God saving us through Jesus. I’m so thankful for the blessing of life and new life. All good gifts come from our Father, and I’m so very, very thankful.

Praying you have a phenomenal Thanksgiving!

This Sunday we will end our “Magnetic” series with a sermon titled “Shalom.” This is a Hebrew word that is dominantly translated “Peace” in the Old Testament. While it doesn’t show up in the Greek text, that’s the word meaning that Paul closes most of his letters with. This message may very well help you to transform your world. 

Looking forward to a phenomenal day of worship with you at Forum.