Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Psalms 107:21-22 -- On the Sacrifices of Thanksgiving

"Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing."
Psalms 107:21-22

In Leviticus it talks about a sacrifice of thanksgiving, which it says were unleavened fried cakes and wafers and leavened bread.  I like that interpretation, and when it talks about the sacrifices of thanksgiving it may mean that, but when I was thinking about it today it made me think about what we usually give up in order to be thankful.

I think that in order to be thankful to someone we have to give up things like resentment, anger, envy, pride, and a lot of the comparison and power playing that we do a lot of in everyday life.  When we're sincerely thankful to someone, and we tell them, those things kind of have to get out of the way in order for us to get there.  And sometimes it is very hard, because there is a lot of baggage there, and we might think that anger and resentment and even hatred are justified.  But even in extremely difficult circumstances, with God's help, some sincere words of thanks for even the tiniest good or kindness can be the first step to healing a relationship or learning to love or forgive.

Being thankful to God I think is similar.  We build up resentment towards God sometimes.  And although God never screws up like we do and our friends and family, and humans in general do, it can sure seem and feel justified to us to be frustrated and angry.  And in order to show thankfulness to God, we have to switch our perspective.  We have to stop seeing God as Santa Claus, and start seeing him as a real being with emotions.  We have to learn some humility, and realize that we aren't the boss of us, and that we really can't handle everything ourselves.  We have to let go of any of that negative emotion we are holding onto in order to express the positive things.

I think that's why it can be amazing spiritual therapy to make some thankfulness lists.  Instead of listing all of the Hell in our lives that we are obsessing over every day, making some Heaven lists of all of the good things around us can help us not only heal our friendships and families, but it can help heal our tendency to hatred and anger, help us realize how much God has done for us, and help us change the way we see almost everything.  Today, let's praise the Lord for his goodness and his wonderful works.  Let's make the sacrifices necessary to fill our minds and our hearts with thanksgiving, and be able to declare God's works with rejoicing. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews