Thanksgiving is the antidote to sinful behavior. — Philo of Alexandria
Philo was a philosopher who lived both before and after Jesus (20 BC-50 AD)—a brilliant guy living in the most incredible period of all history. I looked up the word antidote in the dictionary. It says, “A remedy which counteracts the effects of a poison” or, “Anything that counteracts evil.” Hmmm. Do a little philosophizing of your own on this.
Did you know that thanksgiving is an antidote that counteracts evil? I’m not talking about the holiday: I’m talking about the process of giving thanks. Thanksgiving is a sin-buster.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. (Ephesians 5:1-4)
The word Paul uses for “thanksgiving” in this passage is the Greek word eucharisto—the same word from which we get Eucharist, which is another word we use for the Lord’s Supper and Communion. Philo would have used the same word when he said that thanksgiving is the antidote for sinful behavior. Interesting! Paul and Philo say that thanksgiving is to be the replacement of sin, and a big part of our thanksgiving is remembering the shed blood and broken body of Christ for our sin.
Quite simply, when we are tempted by (or involved in) immoral sex, greed, or “any kind of impurity,” giving thanks can replace it. Thanksgiving is the antidote to sin—one of the ways of escape God has provided out of temptation.
Father of Forgiveness, I thank You for Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins! You promise that when I am tempted, You will provide a way out. Replace the lust and greed of my heart with overflowing praise and thanksgiving for all things You have given, especially the personal sacrifice of Jesus for me! Do this again and again each time temptation comes my way. Amen.
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