Ezekiel 18-19 James 4
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:2-3 NCV)
When we see the results of thanklessness and ingratitude, we understand the reason we celebrate a day of Thanksgiving. In these verses, James talked about an attitude people have when they aren’t satisfied with what they have. They desire more, and they kill or oppress others to get it. They want what someone else has, so they fight and argue about it. They don’t think to ask God about what they need, and when they do talk to God about their situation, all they want is stuff that they can use on themselves – and then wonder why God doesn’t answer their prayers.
This whole section of James deals with the idea of being friends with the world or seeking the world’s approval instead of God. We all know those people who are never satisfied. Some say that’s the American way. We always want a little more. If our neighbor has something and we don’t, we want to get it – especially if it means that the neighbor loses it. Dissatisfaction in this situation is a sign of ingratitude, of unthankfulness. Today is a reminder that we’re called to be thankful to God for all of His blessings. Sadly, tomorrow, or Black Friday, thrives off a mindset like James condemns here. Perhaps this Thanksgiving, and the days to follow, we could learn to be thankful for all that we have and, instead of seeking lots of stuff for ourselves. Learn to take what God has given us and share with others.
Lord, make us truly thankful for all Your blessings. If those blessings include material goods, give us a giving heart to use them to help others. If our blessings are spiritual, let us learn to share those with others that they may draw closer to You.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.