Thank God for Other People

Note:  This is actually Friday morning’s devotional.  I accidentally punched “Publish” early. You can save it for tomorrow morning!

4I thank my God for you all the time, because of God’s grace that has been given to you in Christ Jesus. 5In every way you have been enriched in him, with every message and knowledge, 6as the testimony of Christ has become established among you, 7so that you don’t lack any spiritual gift, as you wait for the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. — 1 Corinthians 1:4-6

“I just thank God for you!”

I’ve heard that statement a few times, some of them even in reference to me, more of them in reference to Jody. It’s an easy thing to say, really, though we probably don’t say it often enough. Paul, in his letters, generally has a thanksgiving at the beginning of the letter. In this case, Paul is writing to the Corinthians, and he is going to write some hard things, but he begins by thanking God for them. (He does skip that in Galatians, where he is so distraught at what’s happening, he just jumps right into the body of his letter.

I wonder what it would do to our relationships with one another if we not only thanked God for one another, but told other people more often that we are thankful to God for them. A soft answer turns away wrath, so perhaps a positive thank you makes things easier to take. We should practice thanking God for one another, and practice accepting that thanks graciously.

And there’s the point of this entire section—grace. Paul is thankful for the Corinthians because of what God’s grace is doing among them. He’s thankful for the functioning of God’s grace. If you are conscious of God when you thank someone, you will find it easier to speak that thanks to them. After all, it’s more like you are giving a testimony to God’s grace! If you find it hard to accept thanks from other people, you might need to do the same thing: Be conscious of God in your life. If you’re embarrassed at receiving thanks, be constantly aware that you would get nowhere without God.

Finally, both thanks as gifts are all about the kingdom. What you are doing is building the kingdom as you wait to meet Jesus again.

I thank God always for each reader of this devotional list, because I know the grace that God has given to you in Christ Jesus. He has made you spiritually rich, with every message and knowledge. The testimony of Jesus has been established among you. You don’t lack any spiritual gift. You’re ready for the mission God has given you as you wait for Jesus to appear.


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