Let them give thanks to the LORD for His loving devotion and His wonders to the sons of men. (excerpt from Psalm 107).
In Psalm 107, “give thanks” is repeated several times. In between comes the story of the ways the Israelites rebelled against God, then repented and sought Him. Each time they came to their senses and realized how kind God was to hear them in their distress. Here is the wonder: He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
In this season of giving thanks we often focus on the things that we have received and count as blessings – good food, prosperity, family, freedoms, etc. These are right to be counted as blessings. We need to be thankful for all this. But in the midst of the “stuff” that we are thankful for, we need to be thankful to the Giver as well as what those blessings express – that He does not treat us according to what we deserve.
Practically, that means that God is not just interested in right behavior, but He is interested in a heart of acknowledgement and thanks for who He is. My lack of acknowledgment for God’s daily kindness, the me-centeredness of my thinking, as well as the daily absorption in idle things that distract me from being useful for the advancement of God’s Kingdom are examples of ways that God does not treat me as I deserve.