Luke 18:9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
As we careen toward Thanksgiving Day, I’d like to share breifly on what NOT to give thanks for. Let us not follow the example of the Pharisee in the above parable of Jesus. Let us not find ourselves giving thanks that we are not like other people. We live, after all to follow the example of the one who, though “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
In youth ministry, one of the most common ways we give thanks that we aren’t like “those people” is to lament “kids theses days….” Surely you nkow what I mean: whining about how society is collapsing, morality is vanishing, parents don’t parent like they used to, etc.
All these things are as useful yet spiritually disguised as asking someone for gossip fodder in the name of “more information so you can prayer better” for someone’s needs.
As we approach Thanksgiving Day, may we all seek clarity on what we ought to be thankful for, and what we dare not.