Guilt-Trip Thanksgivings: How Christians Thank God

I notice Christians have a weird way of being thankful. There’s a formula that we follow and it goes something like this: “I’m thankful for (something good) because (something bad happens to someone else).” For example. “I’m thankful for my health. Because there are a lot of people sick in the hospital right now.” Or, “I’m thankful for a roof over my head. Because there are a lot of people sleeping under bridges tonight.”

That sounds spiritual at first, but as a kid whenever I would hear this in church, my first question was always, “What about the people who ARE sick in the hospital? Or the people who ARE homeless? Do they have nothing to be thankful for?” 

I’ve always felt that something is missing in this formula.

I thank God for my wife. But it’s not because there are so many depressed single people who will die alone somewhere. I thank God for my wife because my wife is good. Period.

Why does our thanksgiving have to be attached to someone else’s suffering? Why can’t we just be thankful for something just because it’s good? God is good. But not because Satan is cruel and has people sacrificing babies in pig’s blood.

There’s a time to be thankful for bad things that haven’t happened. And there’s a time to be thankful for good things that have happened because those good things are good. Period.

So this Thanksgiving be thankful for the good things because they’re good. Be thankful for your health because your health is good. Be thankful for your family, simply because they’re good. Because there are things that are good and worth thanking God for in and of themselves.



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