When was the last time you sat down and just counted your blessings and gave thanks to God? How vital this is for us! If we are going to keep in a right orientation with God and this world, then we need to be abounding with thanksgiving to offset the trials and tribulations of this world!
Abounding with Thanksgiving—Colossians 2:7b
These last few months have been challenging. We have had to go to online ministry with little face-to-face contact with our folks. Yes, we have learned some valuable skills and discovered neat tools, but we still suffer from missing our people. If you add to that the health, political, and social concerns that have engrossed our nation and world in the last three months, it can honestly get us down. In addition to these issues, we still deal with the regular problems that face the church in a typical spring.
So when I preached last Sunday on Colossians 2:6-7, I wondered how does this “abounding with thanksgiving” fit into our present world. If we are not careful, we can read it as just a spiritual add-on, as if the apostle just threw that in for good measure. We can pass over this instead of seeing the value it has for us in the present. When you study this passage, you know that it is not an add-on but is an integral part of the apostle’s argument. Herbert Carson speaks to this in his commentary:
“Thus Paul desires that they might be outstanding in their grasp and application of the faith. But lest such spiritual excellence should bring the snare of self-praise in its train he introduces a typically Pauline note of thanksgiving. Negatively this lifts a man’s thoughts from himself, for true thanksgiving is begotten in humility. Positively it directs a man’s heart towards God, from whom all his growth is derived, and to whom, therefore, praise and glory should alone be given.” —Herbert M. Carson (Tyndale New Testament Commentary Colossians and Philemon, pg 61.)