I had a friend asked me “Why do you need to thank God (for the food)? It’s my money”.
Many has been asking “why do we thank God when it’s me / my father who worked hard everyday to put the food on the table for my family?” I’ve even seen the question like “I studied hard but my parents thanked God for my good results”.
Generally I know because all good things must come from God, but how do you answer those questions if you’re being asked?
I would say gently but firmly that one thanks God for food because God is responsible for the fact that there is food available for us to eat in the first place. I assume you live in the USA, and if so, any person should realize that we are truly blessed to live in this country where we CAN go to a grocery store or restaurant and find food to buy. But for the grace of God, you or your friend could just as easily have been born in a 3rd world country where the gift of not going to bed with an empty stomach is a blessing not to be taken for granted! Many other people–whom God loves just as much as he does any American–do NOT have this luxury. Think of the Sudan or even places in Mexico where children live in cardboard shacks in the dump! A person may indeed have worked for the money used to buy food–but the fact that he even has a job to earn that money and an economy strong enough to allow for grocery stores and restaurants is a gift from God to thank Him for.
I would remind such individuals that what they have is through the grace of God, not their own power or ability. God has gifted them with the health and strength necessary for work so they can buy what they need or actually raise what they need in some cases. He has allowed the crops to succeed so there can be food for all.
The money we have, the abilities we have to study or work, all come from God and His grace in our lives. And all of these can be lost in a moment’s notice. Why would we not thank Him for what we have? Such individuals as those described are guilty of pride and self importance. They believe it is their own power that provides for their needs. That is not a safe place to be spiritually.
Just to expand upon this point, it isn’t only because we are fortunate to be located where we are on earth. God created everything. That would include the winds, the rain, and the sun-all critical components of food production. Without God giving us the necessities to grow and produce the food we eat, it wouldn’t be here. That is what I am really giving thanks for when I ask a blessing upon the food on the table. To me, it is very similiar to the symbolic gifts of the alter during Mass.
I thank God for the food provided by God, for the farmers & people who grow & tend the crops & animals that produce the same. I thank God for providing the appropriate weather for the crops to flourish. None of which would not be on the earth for us to take part in, if not for God.