complacency and counting your blessings [the heart of thanksliving]

Written by Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein is a church plant pastor in the Reformed Church in America, a denomination with deep roots in the US and a strong emphasis on mission around the world. He served at a church in Pennsylvania for nine years before God called him and his family into the new and exciting journey of church planting. His passion is to be a be a catalyst in the church planting movement that nurtures radical followers of Jesus Christ, that builds authentic communities of believers, and who genuinely loves others in word and deed. His desire is for the exponential growth of the church of Jesus Christ, and believes that will best happen when churches start churches who start churches. He is honored to be married to his high-school sweetheart and has been blessed with four beautiful children. Together they reside in Lakewood Ranch, FL.

November 24, 2011

[serialposts]OK, so yesterday I started off by saying that one of the keys to a heart of Thanksliving is learning the secret of contentment.  Today for Thanksgiving, I want to share with you two other quick thoughts:

First, it’s about Kicking Complacency1 Timothy 6:10 says, For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”   Let’s be honest a minute.  While we may say we don’t have a love for money, we live in a culture of excess…and it’s easy for us to fall into that trap.  We value ourselves based on our possessions.  And while we can say, “I haven’t wandered from my faith,” we live as though we have forgotten God.

But how can we be so forgetful?  Well, it gets back to what I mentioned earlier…that because our lives have been so full of God’s goodness and blessings, we have become complacent.  We treat God more like an insurance policy, calling on Him in times of distress and need, not as the constant source for our provision.

If you ever talk to a missionary or take part in a mission project, you will see this truth lived out:  People who have so little (compared to us) are extremely thankful for what they do have.  But how can that be?  Well perhaps it’s because they see every provision as a gift.  I’d say we have a lot to learn!  I don’t want to be so eager for the things that don’t last that I forget about the One who is everlasting.

Second, it’s about counting your blessings.  We have to come to grips with how blessed we North American Christians really are, especially when compared to the rest of the world.   According to studies, at present, 3 billion people live on less than $2 per day while 1.3 billion get by on less than $1 per day.   And while North America has only 6 per cent of the world’s adult population, it accounts for 34% of household wealth.

1 Timothy 6: 17-19 says, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.   In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

But it’s about more than money.  While I have my own physical trials that I am going through, a conversation with someone else usually reminds me that my issues are pretty minor compared to someone with cancer.  I have my health, job, family, home, and Savior in Jesus.  Count it all up…I’m blessed!

So I don’t want to put my hope in the uncertain things of this world…I want to place my hope in God.  I don’t want a life that selfishly seeks to put more on my plate; I want a life of generosity that passionately and compassionately shares with others.  I don’t want to be someone who is apathetic and ungrateful, but who instead thanks God and trusts in Him for everything.  So as we feast at our tables, let’s not just feast on food, but on the goodness of God.  And let’s do it with a heart of Thanksgiving.

2 Comments

  1. Kristabelieves

    Great post Aaron! I loved reading this even post-Thanksgiving as I probably need a daily reminder that he is my provision and not to take my blessings for granted as a spoiled child would. Humbling to say the least.

    Reply
    • AKlein

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and reflect on this.  I know that as often as I remind myself of these truths, I still have to fight against that inner struggle.  I ask God for more and more, and when He answers, do I even stop to offer a prayer of thanks…or am I on to the next thing?!  Maybe we should celebrate Thanksgiving everyday…except for the inevitable growing waistline thing…

      Reply

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complacency and counting your blessings [the heart of thanksliving]

by Aaron Klein time to read: 3 min
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