“ 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, The Holy Bible: English Standard Version
Romans 1 is clear that the gateway to “futile thinking” and “foolish hearts” starts with NOT being thankful, NOT honoring the God who gave us all things. (I would add, not humbly walking with the God of justice, acknowledging the one who has the right to Judge both the living and the dead, according to Micah 6:8, 2 Timothy and 1Peter, as well as Isaiah 33:22)
Maybe the key to the correct response to living is thankfulness. Maybe this passage of scripture explains how we have degraded to a point of thanklessness, instead of finding every day something to be truly grateful for! It also explains how its no wonder our whole culture seems to get further and further from the Truth of God. Or more precisely, from God Himself.
Other passages make it abundantly clear that He has our own interest at heart; that He wants to share His true nature with us, and His eternal power. But we want to look another direction and ignore the things that have been made obvious. It is for our OWN GOOD that He had a standard that would bring us peace in a relationship with Him. But we have said NO. Isaiah 30 says:
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling….
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.
But we have chosen instead, INSTEAD OF BEING THANKFUL to “suppress the truth”, “dishonor our bodies” to “exchange truth about God for a lie”, to “exchange the glory of the immortal God” (in whom we have been made in the image of), for lesser images, rather than give Him any acknowledgment. Such a sad state we find ourselves, and the evidence of our exchange of the Truth is nearly anywhere you look. Sad yes, and yet very telling when scripture is fulfilled all around us. More from the prophet Isaiah (in chapter 5, verse 20)
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
and shrewd in their own sight!
And from the prophet Amos:
They hate him who reproves xin the gate,
and they abhor him who speaks the truth.
I say we as followers of Christ must get back to being thankful! Get back to simply recognizing good at work, His handiwork in the stars and all around us. Then maybe “they” will also “SEE” His invisible attributes, that have been clearly perceived since the foundation of the world.” As in Psalm 19:
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.