By Guest Blogger & Christian Radio Host, Brant Hansen
You can take practically anything too far.
Trust me, I’m an expert in this. My mom will tell you. So can my wife.
I have… “quirks.” I go overboard with stuff.
Like my passionate love for toast.
Toast, to most people, is a nice thing, but not a lifestyle. For me, though, it totally was. I’m not kidding about this: I ate a loaf of toast every morning for years.
I know: It’s weird. But I thought toast was low-cal, and low-fat (this was back when it was all about fat, not carbs. Remember “Snackwells”?) so I thought, sure, having 22 slices of toast every morning before 9 a.m. surely couldn’t be a bad thing.
(Narrator: But it WAS a bad thing.)
Anyway, you can take anything, even innocuous things, or genuinely good things… too far.
Almost anything, anyway. Here’s the one thing I’m convinced you can’t over-do:
You can’t be too grateful to God. It’s not possible.
It bears mentioning because, honestly, in our current environment of anxiety and anger, some will argue that gratitude can be overdone, and that we can’t let it interfere with our focused devotion to a political cause, or our antagonism toward a societal evil.
Some will claim that a lifestyle of gratitude might be borne of naïve ignorance of world problems, or privilege, or a cowardly refusal to face injustices.
But that’s not how scripture views it. Not even close.
The writers of scripture weren’t naïve about the human condition. Nor were they unaware or uncaring about injustice, political instability, disease, or suffering. And yet, here are some of the takeaways.
1. The circumstances don’t matter. They never matter. Always give thanks. Always.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
2. We don’t put gratitude on a backburner because of our anxieties. Instead, we actually replace anxiety with thanksgiving.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
3. We're thankful no matter what, because our peace is found in the unchanging goodness of God. Like Dallas Willard wrote, “My peace is the greatness of God. The person who is heartily abandoned to God knows that all shall be well because God is in charge of his or her life.”
I Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
4. We can be thankful in spite of the “news” that’s scrolling on a billion screens. Because that news doesn’t tell the whole story, and we know it. But we can share it!
I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Don’t let anyone tell you not to be grateful. Gratitude is not for the “privileged” — it’s for every human being on earth who knows how good God is.
Our thankfulness for what He has done, and what He is doing and will do, is the very basis for unity.
And it’s the very basis for our peace.
May His peace be with you and your family this Thanksgiving, and forever and ever.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.
Brant Hansen is an author and nationally syndicated radio host. His latest book, The Truth About Us, was released in April 2020. He's also written Blessed are the Misfits and Unoffendable, which has sold more than 100,000 copies. Brant has been featured multiple time on Focus on the Family, and his writing has appeared on CNN.com, washingtonpost.com, and Relevant, among many other venues. He also hosts a popular podcast, The Brant and Sherri Oddcast. Brant is married and lives in South Florida. To find out more about his latest book, check out truthaboutusbook.com.