Thanksgiving is Foundational
I’ve always found it really interesting that Paul includes a failure to thank God as part of the core of sin when, in Romans 1, he’s explaining the unrightousness and ungodliness against which God’s wrath is being revealed (Romans 1:21). I think I’ve found it interesting because many of us wouldn’t instinctively see a lack of gratitude as a particularly serious issue, and yet here is Paul, identifying it as the heart of all sin, alongside failure to honour God as God. It’s a little detail that’s easily overlooked, but Sam Allberry offers a really helpful reflection on it in his latest book, What God Has to Say about Our Bodies.
‘In the Bible, thankfulness to God is central to our human life, which we see reflected in how Paul describes humanity’s turning away. “They did not honour him as God or give thanks to him” (Rom. 1:21). Ingratitude is actually part of the foundation of all sin. Failing to honour God—removing him from his throne and rightful place in our lives—happens alongside and because of our lack of giving thanks to him. Not to give thanks is to forget the goodness of God. It is to neglect the truth that he is, at heart, a God overflowing in kindness and generosity—every good gift comes from him—and that we are fundamentally recipients of his kindness (even with all the complications of life). That Paul couples honouring God with being thankful toward him shows us that unless we see God as fundamentally good, we will find little reason to follow and worship him. Thanksgiving is foundational.’
What God Has to Say about Our Bodies, pp.28-29.