Attitude of Gratitude

Well, Thanksgiving is over. As we sit on the couch, watching football, and burping pumpkin pie, we start thinking of what Black Friday stores we will hit. That’s what Thanksgiving is about, isn’t it?

Now, if you expect a diatribe about gluttony or conspicuous consumption, or the evils of consumerism, you’ve come to the wrong place. That’s okay, it happens to everyone.

No, I want to be positive today. Really, shouldn’t every day be full of giving thanks? Why do we think that Thanksgiving is a day. I think thanksgiving is a lifestyle.

In Luke 17 we see a story about being thankful…

11It happened that as he made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance 13but raised their voices, calling out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

14Taking a good look at them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”

They went, and while still on their way, became clean. 15One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. 16He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough—and he was a Samaritan.

17Jesus said, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? 18Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” 19Then he said to him, “Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you.”

Just a few verses, but they tell us a lot about thankfulness. We need an attitude of gratitude.

First of all, everybody has something to be thankful for. Look around you, if you look hard enough you can find someone worse off than you. Maybe you don’t have as much money as someone else, but you’re healthy and they’re not. Maybe you’re the one who is sick, but you have enough to make sure your plate is full. And I’m just talking about your immediate neighborhood. We’re all better off than 80% of the rest of the world. Charles Spurgeon said, “If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”

Second, there is no reason not to show gratitude. When you let another car in line during heavy traffic, don’t you get upset if they don’t give you a head nod or wave to say thanks? C’mon, you know you do. You get mad because they didn’t show gratitude. They should have said thanks. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things?”

Finally, Christians should show the rest of the world how to be thankful. We have to model an attitude of gratitude. Did you notice the verse that said the thankful guy, “…was a Samaritan.” If we wrote it today, it might say, “and he was a drug dealer.” Or “he was a (fill in the blank with the worst person you can think up). You see, the Jewish people and the Samaritans didn’t get along. They hated each other. Yet, it was important to point out that the thankful one was of the hated race. The ungrateful guys were the Jewish ones. Or the Christians of today. We can’t afford to show the world we aren’t grateful for all that God has done fore us. We should model it to everyone else!

Finally, we are commanded, “16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:16-18

So how is your thankfulness? We may not eat turkey and pie every day, but we can still have an attitude of gratitude.

Going back for more turkey… Jerry

 

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