For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your lovet toward all the saints,16 I do not cease to give thanks for you… (Eph 1:15-16)
It is so easy to spot the shortcomings of others, whether it be outright failures or just not doing the things we wish they had done. While we are called to gently confront the brother in sin, this does not mean we cannot at the same time give thanks for them. We are all on the road of sanctification. We are being perfected by the work of the Holy Spirit but we are not yet perfected. So we can always give thanks for each other even while seeing the shortcomings. They are not mutually exclusive. The Apostle Paul always opens his letters with thanksgiving for those to whom he is writing, even though he often has specific rebuke for the readers. It is a lesson that we need to learn. It helps us understand that God is using others in our lives even in the midst of sin, it helps us conform more to the way Christ sees us (aren’t you glad he sees you in ways other than just a sinner), it gives us a genuine appreciation for others and thus fuels a real love for others, and brings us joy in the midst of circumstances that are not always optimal.
Who do you give thanks for in your life? Who do you need to give thanks for?
Thank God for his patience and faithfulness to you even while you are still a sinner, and give thanks for those that he has put in your life.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 1 Kings 3, Eph 1, Ez 34, Ps 22