Colossians 3:15b . . . And Be Thankful

February 24, 2015

::Sigh:: It has been one of those days. Technical difficulties are keeping me from Bible study today. I guess that is not entirely accurate. Technical difficulties with my Bible software program have slowed me down. I tried to install an upgrade, and failed. The program now lies in a crashed heap, and I am awaiting tech support.

My sigh is followed by laughter, however, as I realize my big ol’ Bible is sitting right here on my desk. And today’s text is simple and probably tailor-made for just such an occasion!

15 And be thankful.

Up to this point, the Apostle Paul’s positive instruction in Colossians 3 has covered the following exhortations:

• Be virtuous as an expression of true love.

• Bear with one another.

• Forgive each other.

• Let peace reign in your heart.

• Let peace reign at church.

And then Paul just sneaks this brief exhortation into his list without elaboration:

• Be thankful.

It isn’t even specific, like “Be thankful for _______!” Nope, just “be thankful.” Now this takes me back to what Dallas Willard wrote about love: the goal is not so much “Help me to love this cantankerous person” as it is “Help me to become a loving person.” 

With “Be thankful,” I don’t think Paul intends to be specific at all. In his first letter to the Thessalonians, he instructed them to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (5:18). His life modeled the attitude that regardless of what is going on, one can remain thankful to God. He does not say “be thankful for” but “give thanks in all circumstances.” Thankful people just carry gratitude around with them wherever they go. It’s a beautiful thing when one runs across such a person. What Paul is saying is that it is part of keeping our sights on “things above” (Colossians 3:1)  to walk in a general state of gratitude to God. Then when it is time to say “Thanks” for something specific, the words naturally come out of the heart.

So with that short, pithy encouragement, I shall sign off with a grateful heart. Thanks be to God, who has created this day, who has loved me even in my frustration, who has given me the energy to tackle today’s problems.  “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).


2 Responses to “Colossians 3:15b . . . And Be Thankful”

  1. emd5542 Says:

    A fitting antidote to “Why me?” Grateful folks are more than a cut above. Therein lies the joy only the Lord can raise up in us.

  2. …”carry gratitude around with them.” Oh!

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