Culture -

Thanksgiving doesn’t trigger gratitude —

By Mark Christian

Spend some time in Paul’s letter to the Colossians and you’ll see Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday that triggers gratitude.

It’s a personal experience with the kindness and love of our God through Jesus.

"Today, begin the journey Paul called us to. Each day is a day to live in gratitude and by doing so it will only increase. "

Several texts are scattered throughout this letter using variations of the word, “gratitude.” Each instance and the collective voice model a pattern of awareness that brings thankfulness.


Colossians 1:3-6: In our prayers for you we always thank God … for we have heard of your faith … and of the love that you have … because of the hope laid up for you in Heaven.


Regular thanks goes to God for those displaying the evidence of Gospel-centered living.  It is in community that we are blessed, strengthened, taught and encouraged and we need others to journey with us and help us the see the path.


• Colossians 1:11-14: Joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you … He has rescued us … and transferred us … redemption … forgiveness.


Thanks comes from daily reviewing God’s actions and rehearsing God’s saving deeds, as experienced in the small and large details of everyday life.


Colossians 2:6-7: As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith … abounding in thanksgiving.


Personal experience of Christ as Lord – with focus on the security and stability only He can provide – will result in a richness of gratitude.


• Colossians 3:15: And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.


Gratitude arises out of recognition that Christ, who is peace, enables peaceful relationships among disciples and that peace brings life and hope into view.


• Colossians 3:16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.


With the Word of Christ within, voice, heart, mind and spirit engage in a concert of praise flowing from that innate joy that comes from knowing your praise comes from a truth we long for.


• Colossians 3:17: And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


“Doing” in His name is linked with thanksgiving. Having all of life sanctified in Christ is a privilege. To live all of life in the name and character of Christ is praise and fulfilling. Today, begin the journey Paul called us to. Each day is a day to live in gratitude and by doing so it will only increase.


08_19_Mark_Christian.jpegMark Christian is the senior pastor of Christ’s Church of Oronogo (MO) and a member of the chairman of the board of trustees for CIY. To contact him, please email