Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High. Psalm 50:14
Have you ever noticed how few people ever say ‘thank you’? We are, by nature, selfish and entitled. Because we believe we deserve better, saying ‘thank you’ doesn’t occur to us as often as it should. I can also be offended when I think another’s ‘thank you’ isn’t grand enough for what I gave them. Because they didn’t go into enough detail, or because it took them too long to send an acknowledgement, I call them ungrateful. While it may be true in some cases, my propensity to hold a grudge should be checked against my own sin of entitlement.
I’ve heard it said that Adam and Eve’s offense against God wasn’t necessarily pride but ingratitude. They had access to every single tree created except one but they felt that even that one should be theirs.
If I’m going to measure a ‘thank you’ against the weight of the gift that was given to me, then I’m guilty of not expressing a proper ‘thank you’ to God. The level of my acknowledgement is far beneath what it should be. I casually thank Him for forgiving me when I fail to realize what would happen to me if He hadn’t. I forget to thank Him for my health until I languish for a time under a chronic illness. God owes me nothing and yet He gives me everything. I pray that my thanks won’t be just a whisper under my breath but an audible, hearty alleluia. Perhaps my thanksgiving will be contagious and I will help create an environment of gratitude where everyone considers taking part.
The Psalmist encourages an additional exercise ~ to perform vows to the Most High. A vow is a serious thing. It binds and it also brings about consequences according to the purity or impurity of our words. Too many vows are spoken carelessly; vows to join a secret society, a fraternity, or a swearing to adhere to the ‘family way of doing things’, etc. I can vow to never forgive, to never trust men, to never be poor. These entrap, these are binding and set my life on a set of railroad tracks. Jesus was clear as to the danger. He said, “Don’t make false vows but only vows to the Lord your God.”
So Father, deepen my gratitude for the privilege of being your child. I vow to finish this race well. Like a bride who stands at an altar, I vow to love you all my life. I vow make you my treasure above all other people, and all other things. Amen