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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Thanksgiving Day or Turkey Day

The late comedian Milton Berle once said, "We had a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. He-sat on my right." Millions of turkeys will be consumed this Thursday by tens of millions of Americans. But in some cases the Thanksgiving turkey sitting in the middle of the table will be surrounded by one or more thankless "turkeys" sitting around the table! While millions of families will bow their heads and thank God for blessings large and small, material and spiritual, millions more will enjoy a feast fit for a king without so much as a thankful thought.  The great and gracious God who is kind even to the unthankful and the evil (Luke 6:35) will in many cases remain un-thanked. An attitude of ingratitude can turn otherwise terrific people into real "turkeys." As Samuel Johnson said, "Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation. You do not find it among gross people." An old farmer in a restaurant bowed his head before eating to return thanks to God for his food. Three teenaged boys decided to have some fun at the farmer's expense. "Does everybody do that where you come from?" they asked with a sneer and a laugh. "No they don't," the farmer flashed back. "The pigs just jump right in."

The Bible frowns on ingratitude and unthankfulness in the strongest terms. In Romans 1:21 the apostle Paul notes that the character crisis in his culture began "because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened." Later, in 2 Timothy 3:2, Paul notes that one characteristic of "perilous times" will be that people are unthankful. In both these passages ingratitude is found in a catalog of serious sins that range from greed to hatred to murder. Ingratitude not only makes us less godly, it also makes us less human. Ravi Zacharias wrote, ". . while we as a nation have set aside one day a year to say, 'Thank You,' thanks to the skeptic Thanksgiving Day has now been reduced to Turkey Day. That ironic caption may well be more descriptive than we ever intended" (Can Man Live Without God: Word Publishing, 1994; p 86). Ephesians 5:20 counters this thankless attitude with challenging words: giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Thank God before ingratitude makes a turkey out of you!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ