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Gratitude at the Soup Line

By Dennis D. Dillon

religion, articles, christianity

While traveling the open spaces of West Texas, I heard radio talk show hosts discussing the American economy. A caller asked, "If we experienced another great depression, what would be the difference from the first one?" The reply was: "There would be no gratitude at the soup line."

Gratitude is pushed into the background of American thought. Our generation demands rights. It adamantly advocates that everyone should realize the "American dream" (whatever that is), regardless of the effort, or lack of effort, to attain that dream.

We wish ingratitude affected only the worldly, but it is not so. The church is affected. The proof is in the pudding. Christians want to go to heaven one day. Yet, do we appreciate what God has done through his beloved Son?

Our day-to-day requests to God are to be made with thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6). An appreciative heart glorifies God (2 Cor. 4:15).

Are we thankful for the assembly of the saints (Heb. 10:24-25)? Do we give thanks for other saints (v. 24)? Do we remember and appreciate what the Lord's death means?

It seems that some believers think heaven will be theirs by right. Many live like the lost but want the reward of the saved!

By his divine power God has given his spiritual children "all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Pet. 1:3). We have "exceeding great and precious promises" (2 Pet. 1:4).

Shouldn't God's children be more grateful? No gratitude at the soup line may be our problem.

(Editor's mouth, again: Brother Dillon has given us some things to think about. We also think about some sub-lunary things ­­ like should the directors of ACU and the administration and faculty feel a twinge of gratitude for those noble souls who did without frills to finance the school so the kids could have an education in a Christian environment. The founders of ACU thought instrumental music in worship of God is sinful. They thought the church is one, and denominationalism is wrong. They thought the believer must be baptized to be saved. They thought baptism is unto the remission of sins. They even thought the Bible is the very Word of the Almighty and therefore error free. Our question is: Does it bother their conscience that the school today is advocating that instrumental music is a side issue, that baptism is because of the remission of sins, that the denominations are as sanctified as the church, and that people pleading for the old paths are "anti­philosophical, anti-theological, and anti-educational" fundamentalists? Where, oh where, did the gratitude go? Indeed, where did common decency go? We dare not ask where common sense has gone? Is there no gratitude in the soup line?)

Published March 1995