An Article about Thankfulness That Won’t Make You Want to Throw Up

DramamineIt’s that time of year again. A time when pulpits, podcasts, newsletters, blogpost begin to wax homiletic about thankfulness and gratitude. And frankly, for the most part, they do a lousy job at it. Sermons and articles like these sound good (or at least satisfying and normative) to an audience of believers who are doing okay and not dealing with crisis or hardship, but they can be a dagger in the heart of a believer who is going through hardship. Be thankful and have ‘an attitude of gratitude’.  I’m unemployed and my family and I are going to get evicted from my house any day now? Sure preacher, I’ll just write a big Thankfulness check to the landlord.  My wife or child is dying in the hospital?  I’ll just tell the doctors to inject 50 cc’s of Thankfulness and that should cure her just fine….  Such rhetoric also reduces not being thankful to being a vice or an oversight, like speaking profanities or failing to tithe.  It fails to appreciate the true difficulty of achieving thankfulness–true existential gratitude toward the Creator of the Universe.    Continue reading