Patterning your thankful life after nine simple lessons from Jesus
In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is a day that was originally set aside as a national holiday to stop the activities of our busy lives and thank God for His providence. Fast forward a few hundred years and what do we have – a day set aside for family friends food and football. Being “thankful” is rarely on the agenda anymore, and being thankful to God specifically borders on political incorrectness! So, what about actually living daily with a grateful heart? That's a concept that is far from the collective consciousness of our tech savvy society. Now, just because gratitude is not the general focus does not mean we as Christians have permission to ignore it. On the contrary, living a life of appreciation is a Christian requirement, so how do we take that which is required of us and transform it into that which we seek each and every day?
To want to live a thankful daily life means we first need to grasp the reach gratitude has in our every day. If you begin to dig beneath the surface you soon realize that being thankful has its roots in the simplicity of good manners. I have three grandchildren, an 11-year-old boy and two three-year-old girls – and one more on the way! While spending time with the two three-year olds yesterday, it struck me how much a part of their social training is learning good manners. When they wanted juice they were given the age-old question, “How do you ask?” to which they immediately answered with “Please!” Of course, once the juice was delivered their cue of “What do you say?” was dutifully responded to with a resounding “Thank you!”
Realize it or not for us as adults, “please” and “thank you” are the core factors in living gratefully, for they create a powerfully positive perspective for our everyday. “Please” implies a kind recognition of someone doing something for us, whether we are entitled to it or not. It is having gratitude before something takes place and sets the stage for whatever service we have requested to be able to be performed in a cheerful way. “Thank you” seals the exchange with the simple act of acknowledging someone’s efforts on our behalf. So you see, gratitude is one of the most precious and basic of all human responses.
Now, what would you say if I told you that Jesus took this incredibly simple lesson of living with gratitude and expanded it to truly cover every aspect of our varied lives? The Beatitudes in Matthew 5 are appropriately looked upon as a recipe for living well as a Christian. What if we looked at those very same verses and focused on the living thankfully lessons they could teach us? Now that is a whole new ballgame! Check out our November 19, 2018 podcast, “How can We be Truly Thankful?” and walk through the verses with us. Our special guest opens doors to gratitude that most of us never even knew existed. “Please” give it a listen! “Thank you!”
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