I heard the story of the monk who went into a monastery and took a vow of silence for ten years. When the decade was done he was asked if he had anything to say. He said, “Food bad.” Another ten years went by and he said, “Bed hard.” After the third decade, he said, “I quit.” To which, his supervisor replied, “Well you might as well quit. You’ve done nothing but complain ever since you got here.”
Just as we are to “rejoice evermore” and “pray without ceasing,” we are to “give thanks” always. Just how do we do that?
First, gratitude is expressed in how we speak when we talk to each other. Read today’s verses in Ephesians 5:3-4. When we talk to each other, our speech is not worldly but grateful!
Second, gratitude is expressed in how we pray. Instead of coming to God to ask, ask, ask; let’s give Him our thanks. We are to worship Him for who He is and what He has done.
Why don’t we give thanks to the Lord always? What hinders us? Let me suggest several barriers to true thanksgiving.
Barrier #1: An unredeemed soul. We’ve already seen that Romans 1:21 and II Timothy 3:2 speak of unbelievers as “unthankful.” They do not thank God because they do not believe that He really is the source of all good things. If you are never thankful, examine your heart. You may have never truly been saved.
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient (fitting), but rather giving of thanks.