Faith, family, friends, and faculty – these are at the top of my “Thankful for” list. Thank you for investing into the lives of our students and for walking out the mission in the classroom. You are making a difference!
During November, we focus on thanksgiving, a timely perspective, however, not only for this season, but also for the times in which we live. The following from II Timothy 3 describes men in the last days:
lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power…. (NKJV).
I certainly do not want to be among such a group, and I would imagine that none of you would either. In fact, the verse goes on to say, “From such people turn away.” In the middle of a long list of abhorrent qualities is the characteristic of unthankfulness.
In contrast, may thankfulness expressed through an attitude of gratitude characterize us at all times and in all situations. May it be our distinctive.
The Psalms are filled with admonitions to give thanks to God.
The epistles teach on thanksgiving also:
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6, NKJV).
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NKJV).
But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:13, NKJV).
The word for thanksgiving or gratitude in Greek is eucharistia. It literally means good (eu) grace (charis). An attitude of gratitude is good grace in action. Strong’s Concordance as listed in E-sword says that the word also means “grateful language” (Myers, 2014).
On the other hand, unthankful literally is no grace, from acharistos (Myers, 2014). When we are unthankful, we ignore or forget the grace of God at work in our lives.
This Thanksgiving what are you thankful for? Family? Friends? Your church? Your work? Your co-workers? Your health? This country?
In what situation do you find yourself, where in obedience you choose to give thanks because God has not forgotten you, because He is faithful, because He has already provided an answer?
Last week I told a student that I saw her succeeding because of her attitude. At first, she did not appreciate the comment, thinking that by attitude I meant something negative. However, as I explained the positive aspects of her attitude, she understood. Often we perceive attitude negatively, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if others said of us, “She has an attitude!” “He has an attitude!” if it were an attitude of gratitude!
O give thanks unto the Lord
For He is good and
His mercy endures forever.
(Psalm 118:1, NKJV)
Myers, R. (Ed.). (2014). E-sword: The sword of the LORD with an electronic edge. Retrieved from e-Sword.