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Good Shepherd Lutheran

GIVE THANKS!
When I gave my sermon on Sunday, I did some thinking about being thankful. The sermon was on the parable of the talents, and it focuses on the opposite of thankfulness. The servant who only got one talent to steward was ungrateful. His pride was hurt and rather than looking at what he was given all he could see was that the other servants had been given more. That can seem pretty unfair to a proud heart.
That struck home because I know how my own pride responds to more ‘talented’ servants. It’s hard when we’re surrounded by people who just seem to have been gifted with more talent than we’re equipped with. It’s hard to accept and it can easily tempt us to covet the talents others have and wonder why God left us lacking. We feel discouraged and full of self-pity. We feel like losers. So, we end up jealous, resentful, and unmotivated. But we don’t always recognize this as what it is. Coveting. It’s a common temptation for us servants when we see ourselves as less talented.
But 1 Corinthians 10:13 says: “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”
All that angst we feel? It’s all fueled by pride. All that feeling bad about ourselves? It’s a form of self-worship. Gone is our love for our Master. Gone is our love for anyone else. Gone is the wonder over the God-given grace that we received when we didn’t deserve anything from the Master at all. And gone is the realization that even one talent is a huge amount and way more than we deserve to steward. It only looks small compared to multiple talents that others have.
Pride infects all of us, no matter how many or how few talents we have. More talented servants have their own temptations to deal with, but less talented servants need to be warned to beware of the way pride can dangerously warp our perspective.
The fact is, we’ve all been richly blessed with the talents God has given us. We’ve been born into one of the richest societies in history; one with greater wealth and more free time for its citizens than any people have ever been blessed with before. We have a lot to be thankful for.
So, this Thanksgiving we need to stop looking at the other guy and wishing we could be him or have what he has. We are richly blessed. God has already blessed us with each and every talent we need to fulfill His purpose for us. So, as we sit around that Thanksgiving table tomorrow, remember and GIVE THANKS!