by David Brenneman
"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."
Colossians 3:16 NASB
This was today's "verse of the day" in an app that I have.
What caught my eye was after the last comma. "singing with thankfulness". Interestingly enough in writing that out, the suggested word was "thanksgiving".
We can easily get caught up in personal definitions of feelings. But singing with thankfulness is a new one on me.
How does that play out? To consider it takes me to many old hymns. It's no wonder those are the way they are. They aren't just a hymn praising Jesus, but many are indeed teaching us to sing in thankfulness.
We are easily prone to grumbling. Easily this is an opposite of thankfulness.
You don't have to look far on any social media platform to find grumbling or complaining. Before, during, and after any sports event you will find grumbling and complaining. You will honestly find a very much un-Christ-like behavior portrayed. Justified anger. Justified rage. People showing the world nothing that would say anything about a right attitude in Christ Jesus.
No thankfulness at all in the sentiments that are sent out to the world. "It's all in fun". Interestingly enough that's not a Biblical response that's acceptable.
Growing up being somewhat different from others my age, I was often the brunt of other people's idea of "We didn't mean it. It was all in fun!"
I am taken to a "Big Bang Theory" episode of a Halloween scenario. Howard is dressed up as Sheldon. Doing a full on mockery of him. It has to be explained to him. He's not amused at all. He was quite offended that people saw him as that way. Leonard tries to make light of the situation by laughingly saying "we're not laughing at you we're laughing with you". To which Sheldon says that he's not laughing.
We often don't take into account what other's are calling funny. We often don't see what our actions are really portraying to others. We might indeed have reason to be in a mood...but is our response right in God's eyes?
That's the thing right there.
Are we responding and or showing a life of thankfulness that goes as far as us even singing thankfulness?
I was having a rough week this week. I Reached out to a friend. He listened. He then sort of switched the conversation to get me to find things this week to be thankful for.
The whole notion of social media is to get others to watch us.
We will indeed project an image of our mental self in social media.
We will indeed show the world what is on our mind. For me, I hope at all times people see my love for Jesus. That indeed He is coming soon.
What saddens me is to see Christians acting in a very un-Christ-like manner. That justified rage at this or that over something as stupid as a sports event. Thankfulness thrown out the window.
I, personally, gave up on following sports of any kind after I saw how much it brought out the worst in me.
Truly, you cannot be grateful or thankful while you are complaining.
If all you are speaking of is unfounded rage and anger then you can't possibly be thankful. In still another place in Scripture it says plainly that the anger of man does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
In your social media circles are you showing the world Jesus is alive in your life, of how much He means to you, or are you showing them that you can be just as base a person as an unbelieving person?
We look at the early Church. They were constantly following this verse. They were constantly looking out for one another. There wasn't the worldly course jesting that we find so much today. They didn't do anything that wasn't going to follow this passage and others.
"Praise Him! Praise Him!" comes to mind.
That is one of my favorites. I still remember walking into a Promise Keeper's event where nearly 15,000 men were singing that with no music.
We need to be conscious of our behavior before others. We need to send our requests to God and watch ourselves for complaining and grumbling. We need to take care to not present to the world a wrong idea of us.
We who are in Christ, of all people, have the most to be thankful for. Indeed the "cure" for grumbling and complaining is thankfulness. Look at the life of Jesus. See Him grumbling or complaining? He had the most right to do so! As it was written, He knew the hearts of mankind.
Some things to consider: "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." Colossians 4:6 NASB.
"and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks." Ephesians 5:4 NASB.
"Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality."
Romans 12:9-13 NASB
Lastly: "and do not give the devil an opportunity." Ephesians 4:27 NASB.
We can find great healing in being thankful. We can find great wounds in complaining. We can, even unintentionally, push someone away from God by our grumbling and complaining. It's rather interesting how what we rage about is directly tied to what we are passionate about. What we are willing to defend often speaks to what's most important to us.
Make sure what's most important to you is living a life that says "Jesus lives here. He means everything to me. Inquire within".
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