In all things give thanks
‘Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18). So this directive is given to those who accept the Christian instruction of the Holy Bible.
At this time of year, especially, we offer thanksgiving during the holidays for all that we have. We are a very blessed people-for the most part, we have entirely too many material goods. We do not lack for things the way others around the world lack. We have freedoms that many around the globe can only imagine: The freedom to speak our minds, the gather in worship or in protest, to disagree with those who govern us. And for all those things, we should be thankful.
What is difficult to accept is that many who have so much are acting in ways that are disgraceful and in ways that harm not only themselves but others around them.
I speak of the riots that continue in Ferguson, Missouri. It baffles my mind why individuals feel that destroying the property of others, inflicting pain and suffering on others; inhibiting others’ access to highways and therefore jobs, can bring any positive reaction or change to circumstances in that area or elsewhere.
Taking all potential race issues out of the equation and taking out the justice system that followed that of the United States, what benefit is had from this insane behavior? These folks in Missouri (many of whom are not even from Ferguson and have no dog in the fight so to speak) are destroying what others have worked for and are thankful for. They are destroying years of efforts to eliminate racial tension and bringing it back full force.
I find it personally difficult to be thankful for the freedoms of a nation that allows this behavior to continue; a nation that has leaders and spokespersons perpetuating the violence rather than calling for its end.
We all need to look to what we have and that is much rather than what we allegedly don’t have. Be thankful that there are the opportunities to open businesses in small towns like Ferguson, that there are laws which protect peaceful protest; that there are men and women in law enforcement and military who put their lives daily on the line to protect all of us and all that we have. We should all be examples of thankful people in all that we do. We should lead by positive example and pray that others will follow. This should be true for each of us and should be shown especially in our visible leaders: congressmen and women, athletes and the President. Let us teach our children to be appreciative and help maintain all that we have for which to be thankful.