It’s almost Turkey Day where you will be sitting around a big table most likely sharing the things you’re thankful for.
I thought I’d share an excerpt from my upcoming book that shows us why we should be thankful all year.
I’ve come across some people who feel that they are entitled to a lot of things and are mad when they don’t get what they feel they deserve (Google the words “everything’s great and nobody’s happy” sometime).
PJ Smythe, a pastor at God First Church in South Africa, explains that since we are all sinners, we deserve hell. He said, “Anything better than hell is a bonus.”[i] How can we complain about what we do or don’t get when we are deserving of the worst punishment?
Imagine for a moment that you are convicted of murder and on death row awaiting execution. Your final meal is passed through the prison bars into your hands. This is it. The last few hours of your life have arrived. As you are walking down the hall to face your doom, you are suddenly set free to go home. Imagine how you would feel if you were driving on the way home from prison and someone cut you off—it wouldn’t matter to you. If the waiter messed up your order at dinner that night— you wouldn’t care the slightest. Hours before, you were sentenced to die and now, you are free! Your food would taste better. Flowers would smell sweeter. The little things that used to bother you wouldn’t even matter at all.
This should be the same for those who are in a relationship with Jesus. We have been freed from eternal death. We were once sentenced to death, and not only are we set free, but we are given the greatest reward ever—a relationship with the Creator of the universe. Little things (or big things for that matter) shouldn’t bother us anymore. If someone offends you, if your food is taking too long at the restaurant, if someone is just plain annoying, it shouldn’t matter to us. We were set free. Free to love! Free to forgive! Free to live!
[i] PJ Smythe. Quote is from a message I heard at God First Church in Johannesburg, South Africa, 2009. godfirst.co.za