Thankfulness has always been a part of my life. My parents taught me at a young age that saying “Thank you” was being polite. And as I’ve made a childhood religion my own personal relationship, I’ve discovered how important thankfulness really is in my life as a Christian. But I thought instead of listening to me ramble about it, who better to hear from about thankfulness than my pastor, who is also my dad, the person who taught me about it from the start. 🙂 Here is what he has to say about thankfulness:
It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year! The excitement of the holiday season beginning, the hard work to get 5 days done in 3 and the anticipation of a Thanksgiving feast with family we don’t see very often. Of course the Thanksgiving holiday provides an opportunity to ramp up our thankfulness and that’s always a good thing. You’ve heard of having an attitude of gratitude? While that’s something we ought to hang on to all year round, this week puts gratitude in the spotlight, mixes our everyday thankfulness with an energy drink, makes your heart burst with the joy and humility for all that God has done for you. In short, you don’t want to live this week without experiencing gratitude on steroids. How?
First, make sure you are returning thanks to the proper place. James 1:17 (NLT) says, “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” If you can spot something good in your life, you know where it came from. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! (Ps 107:1)
Second, look further than the obvious blessings and return thanks for them as well. Just today, I was served breakfast by someone who got up early, put a smile on their face and took good care of us while we ate. My house was warm, our car started, the sun is out, I’m mostly healthy, we’re putting up the Christmas tree early, our house will be open to a stream of guests this week and the new Star Wars movie is only a month away! There’s a lot of good that we miss in our lives which means there’s a lot of gratitude too.
Third, beware of the thanksgiving killer, discontentment. It’s not possible to be thankful and discontent at the same time because gratitude comes from appreciating what has already been given, discontentment comes from focusing on the things you do not have. So count your blessings! Ramp up the gratitude! Squash the ‘wanter’ inside of you and enjoy the moments, the people and the love that are present in your life this week. Return that thanks to the Giver of all good gifts and get ready to celebrate the greatest gift we have ever been given, Jesus. Might I suggest Ps 103 to get that heart pumping with gratitude this week. Blessings!
I hope that you are reminded this week of all the things we have to be thankful for. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
(Image via Margaret Berg Art)