Thanksgiving should not be an event in your life that you give yourself to once and after wards it is over.
When people take it as an event what people do is that they are overtaken by it so the preparation are more external than spiritual. People are overtaken with what they would wear for service and with what they would cook for the service. The event of thanksgiving becomes much more important than the spirit of thanksgiving. The other aspect that you begin to see some people stay away from church because they feel they do not have anything to thank God for. They say “How would people see me come and thank God? What can I point out to them?
Those people are not preparing externally or spiritually they are just overtaken by how things would look like that they are coming to thank God. It is still the event that is controlling them.
When you are controlled by the event you loose the sense of the whole thing, the essence of the program, the essence of what the service is about so you are not able to do the thanksgiving as you ought to do it.
When the scriptures say “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works .. “ it tells us about the order that God has in mind that people need to have in thanking him, it has to start with knowing His goodness because it is the goodness of God that makes God to be God. It is out of His goodness that His works flow.
The event is there for a purpose- it is just a platform to come and express something to God. However, in your life that platform should be an everyday thing. So we have to have an attitude of thanksgiving rather than looking for an event of thanksgiving.
What happens when we see thanksgiving as an event?
- We loose out on fulfilling the will of God. The scriptures tell us that thanksgiving to God is like fulfilling God’s will. 2 Thess. 5:18 says in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you Ps 92:1 says it is good to give thanks to the Lord…in the evening time and in the morning . In everything, in all season give thanks . When we see thanksgiving as an event we lose out on the reward of obedience, on the aspect of seeing it as God’s will.
- We loose out on the object of Thanksgiving – God is the object of Thanksgiving. The psalmist say ‘By my thanksgiving, I magnify God’. When we just do it as an event and are taken over and are concerned with how we appear for thanksgiving we lose out on the object of thanksgiving. By this it does not mean people should not wear fine clothes but people prepare so much for thanksgiving, dress for thanksgiving but then check out their envelopes – what is there does not go with the way they dress. The object of thanksgiving is God and after God it is other people. Why? Because God wants us to come and thank God so that other people will say He has blessed us. We are boasting in him thereby they will have hope in him. God is concerned that our neighbours see us and have hope in him. A lot of people think when I stay back from thanking God, I am not being fake, I am not being pretentious all these people who are just smiling I know what they are going through- you know too much; and what you know is hindering your growth, your standing with God and you are saying you know more than God knows, you know why they should praise God. It is good that you pretend for good than for evil.
- You are spiritually low, it’s a mark of low spirituality when you are overtaken by the event to the point that you are more concerned about the external than spiritual or the point that you say you do not want people to say – you are pretending, whichever one; you are spiritually low. Ephesians 5:18, 19 “be filled with the spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalm and hymns making melody in your heart to God, giving thanks:” when you are filled with the Spirit you will give thanks.
God ensures every one that participates with the right spirit and comes to him come back next time with something more, no matter how small, even if it looks like there is nothing more you will not be diminished. It is more than an event it is an outflow of the heart. “For it is good to give thanks unto the Lord”.