What a wonderful word.
Well, it’s not really the word that is wonderful…it’s really the idea behind the word.
Doesn’t the idea of being thankful fill you with peace? Well, I’m personally tired of the idea and ready for the reality.
I’m ready to choose to be thankful. I ready to embrace the fact that my circumstances don’t really determine my level of gratitude.
I’m just so tired of being ungrateful! What a nasty state that is. It doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t produce good. It just makes me all bothered and unsettled. It births perpetual unhappiness and steals my joy.
NO. No to a lack of gratitude.
I am learning that being thankful really is a choice. Much like contentment, it’s a state of being that doesn’t depend on my circumstances nearly as much as I often think. A thankful disposition (that comes with those extra benefits of joy, peace, fullness), is a learned disposition.
I am not prone to thankfulness. I have to lean-in to it.
Sure, there are times in life when everything goes my way and I’m “naturally” and explosively thankful. But it’s disturbing how quickly those moments fade.
I want more than moments, I want a disposition of thankfulness.
So, here is one way the Lord is teaching me to be thankful.
…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable —if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
The Holy Spirit might speak this verse into a different area of your life, but for me, He is currently speaking this truth into my relationships.
What do I dwell on when I think of others? My family? My friends? New people I meet?
Am I dwelling on what is true or on my assumptions? Am I dwelling on what is honorable in those around me or on the negative? Am I dwelling on what is just, pure, beautiful and commendable about those in my life?
I’ve got to train my mind to think that way. It’s like what Paul says about how love “believes the best” (1 Corinthians 13:7). Things like that don’t come naturally, I’ve got to train and re-wire my mind to think this way. I’ve got to form new habits in my thought life. I’ve got to die to the old and embrace the new that Christ is handing me in His Word.
Perspective is so incredibly important. What we think and how we think about things determines so much in our lives. WAY more than our circumstances, our thoughts and perspective determine our quality of life.
That is why the good Lord told us to work on how we think about things. He came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). Part of that abundance (or quality) is produced by what we dwell on.
Dwelling on these things…dwelling on the best in those around me…dwelling on the positive things…dwelling on the many things I have received…dwelling on all these things produces thankfulness.
Time with family is great for some…but for others, it can be a real challenge. When relationships are hard to manage, it can be hard to feel thankful.
I’m praying and hoping for you and me both that we will be FULL of gratitude this week! I’m praying that the Holy Spirit will renew our minds. I’m praying that He will help us to see more than what we are used to seeing. I’m praying that He will help us to live and walk in the abundant quality of life that He has for us each day. I’m praying that He will help us really love those we are around this Thanksgiving.
So, to help us start dwelling on good things…
Let’s share with each other: WHO in your are you thankful for?
I’m thankful for my beautiful wife and my wonderful son. They are such sweet gifts and I’m overwhelmingly THANKFUL that God has given them to me.
Love you all and praying for your time with others this week.