Empty Thinking

1idea_bulb.jpgPAUL SPOKE OF the Gentile in this fashion…
“For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21 ESV).
Did you catch the progression in that verse?
The Gentiles knew God.
The Gentiles did not honor God.
The Gentiles did not give thanks to God.
The Gentiles became futile in their thinking.
The Gentiles hearts were darkened.
Watch it. Even though the Gentiles KNEW God existed (because a creation implies a Creator, vv. 19-20), they did not respond to their knowledge of Him. They refused to recognize, acknowledge, or bow down to Him in appreciative worship. They did not accept the fact that He was the singular source of all blessings. They decided that blind fortune or human merit afforded the totality of rewards in this life.
And what was the inevitable result of this failure to express honor and gratitude to God?
Paul said their thinking became futile. The word in the original language, emataiothesan, means “empty.” I find it interesting that the same Greek word translated “futile” is the same word employed in the LXX for idols (e.g., Leviticus 17:7; 2 Chronicles 11:15). Idols are empty like thankless thinking is empty. Instead of building their minds on the reality and benefits of their Creator, the Gentiles built them on their own senseless speculation and therefore became empty in their thinking.
I don’t know about you, but I hear a strong warning in Romans 1:21. You see, it is possible for me to know (and even admit) that God exists, but then fail to show Him my love and gratitude. One of the consequences of perennial ingratitude is that my thinking becomes futile and I lost the ability to make any moral distinctions. I am unable to reach any clear conclusions in terms of acceptable behavior. Everything becomes a matter of political correctness rather than righteousness.
We sometimes wonder how politicians can reference deity, but then enact laws that are in direct contradiction to divine revelation. I understand now how that happens. It’s about ingratitude. It’s about thanklessness. Folks who chose not to thank God will eventually and inevitably pursue legislation that is empty and void of His will. Thinking that is futile will make decisions which are Godless and immoral.
Scripture reminds me that I need to be more grateful. “Thanksgiving” shouldn’t be confined to the third Thursday in November. It should be a lifestyle.
“In everything GIVE THANKS; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). empty_mind_440.jpg

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