This post originally ran in November 2012.
I thought it would fit, I really did. But when I dumped the leftover soup with one quick motion into the waiting Tupperware bowl I discovered I my judgment was way off. Yummy Beef Barley soup rushed over the edges of the bowl onto the counter and splashed up on everything nearby. The natural consequence of putting way too much in a limited container.
In his letter to the Christians in Colosse, the apostle Paul paints a similar picture of thanksgiving:
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7, NLT
In these verses, Paul describes a spiritually strong Christian. Her faith was initially grounded – or rooted – once for all time in the foundation of the Gospel of Christ. From that truth, God continues to build her up, or grow her, into Christ’s likeness. As she grows, her faith is continually strengthened as she learns to trust in and depend on Christ. Thanksgiving, then, is the natural result.
Thanksgiving will come naturally to a Christian who is firmly established in Christ and growing in her faith. She will be so aware of the overwhelming work God has done in her life, she will “overflow with thankfulness.”
The Greek word translated as “overflow” means “to exceed a certain number of measure; to come in abundance: overflowing.” God pours so much mercy, grace, and blessing into our lives, we don’t have enough room to contain it. As we recognize His many gifts to us, thankfulness will rush out around us, splashing everything nearby.
Do people in your and my life get splashed with thankfulness? Is our gratitude for everything God has done for us in Christ obvious? If not, let’s contemplate His goodness toward us and allow thanksgiving to overflow our edges.
How can we express thanksgiving to God today in ways that people will notice?