So Thanksgiving has come again and found us abundantly blessed. Most of our abundance remains as an extra pant size or more junk in our trunk but I still buy into the abundance thing. I had some friends from east Africa staying with me and they found the whole Thanks-giving holiday a miraculous event. - That a nation would actually put together an official holiday where people give thanks. Amazing.
I of course explained that non-Christians are not obligated to be thankful to anyone in particular but have pretty much agreed to be generally thankful. It’s kind of like being generally married, I think. Weird I know but secular or sacred, I love Thanksgiving.
Anyway I would like to generally share some wide-ranging thoughts on thankfulness in general. Being thankful is not just a character trait but also an emotional and spiritual gold mine. These are points I consider worth sipping on in this weeks confession from a highly-caffeinated Christian.
(1) You can’t be thankful and miserable at the same time.
One of the neat things about an attitude of gratitude is a move towards thankfulness is a move away from misery. It’s a lot like trying to whistle and sing at the same time.
(2) The opposite of thankfulness is not being unthankful….it’s selfishness.
Being thankful turns your attention to how awesome God is and from what you don’t have to what you do have. It also launches you into a self-realization that none of us are self-made men or women. We are abundantly blessed.
(3) A huge key to being thankful is choosing to see the truth over the facts.
Jesus doesn’t say you shall know the facts and the facts will set you free. There’s a big difference and it takes intentional faith to choose the truth over the facts.
(4) Thanksgiving is the gateway to God’s manifest presence.
The Bible says over and over again that we enter into His courts and through his gates via thanksgiving. If that’s true, and I think it is, it is also true a sure fire pathway to the other direction is through griping and complaining. I can’t tell you how many times I have sent my thought life to hell by partnering with the enemy in refusing to be thankful.
(5) Learning to be thankful in all things, is knowing who is with you in all things.
When the disciples thought they were going to drown they woke up Jesus and asked why He didn’t care. He calmed the storm and asked them where their faith was. The point was not that he could calm the storm. The point was that if He was in the boat, the outcome was certain. If you can’t thank God for all things, we can at least thank Him in all things.
A word worth its weight in gold.
There once was a guy named Rudyard Kipling who lived from 1865 to 1936. He was English, yet born in Bombay, India. He eventually became a successful writer and is the author of books like Captain Courageous, How the Leopard Got His Spots, and The Jungle Books.
Kipling’s writings not only made him famous but also brought him a fortune. A newspaper reporter came up to him once and said, "Mr. Kipling, I just read that somebody calculated that the money you make from your writings amounts to over one hundred dollars a word.”
The reporter reached into his pocket and pulled out a one hundred-dollar bill and gave it to Kipling and said, “Here’s a one hundred dollar bill, Mr. Kipling. Now you give me one of your hundred dollar words.”
Rudyard Kipling looked at the money, put it in his pocket and said, "Thanks!"
It is in that vein that the Brewer says a hearty Texas “Thank You” to those of you who look to the Fresh from the Brewer column each week for your sip from the Master’s cup.
Contact the Brewer at www.FreshFromTheBrewer.com