GOBBLE Your Way to Being Being Thankful
The Bible tells us to, “Be thankful in every circumstance,” but often we’re too busy being jealous of others or not content with what we have to be thankful.
Our culture doesn’t help us with this, as we are always competing with others and told to, “Be the best.” Often, being our best comes at the expense of others. We’re also told that we need the newest and best _______ (insert ANYTHING in there…clothes, phone, house, car, etc).
All of this causes us to be discontented with what we have, and, as a consequence, makes being thankful for our current state difficult.
Since it is Thanksgiving week (although if you go to any stores, you’d think it’s Christmas Eve), I talked to our students about being thankful last night.
Here are some tips I the Bible gives us to get us to the right place to be thankful.
How to GOBBLE
- Get the right perspective: James 4:2-3 tells us that wars and fights among us come from unfulfilled desires. There are so many things that we want but cannot have. Rather than focusing on what we have, we focus on what we do not have. I read a statistic that said that if you make more than 10,000 in a year, you are richer than 85% of the world’s population. Getting a little perspective on wealth and possessions is the first step to being thankful.
- Observe your blessings: Psalm 103:2 reminds us that we ought not “forget the benefits of God.” Most of us are too busy wanting something new to even recognize the many blessings we have been given. Or, when one bad thing happens to us, all the other blessings that God has given us are forgotten. We must take time to, like the old song says, “Count our blessings.”
- Be content in every circumstance: In Philippians 4:11-13 Paul gives us a secret to his success: He has learned to be content in every circumstance. He’s not longing for something else. He is absolutely content with where God has placed him (and at that time, he was in jail). We ought to learn how to be content, because “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).
- Be aware of where good things come from James 1:17 teaches us that “ever good and perfect gift comes from above.” The things we have that are good are from God. His grace is unbelievable. He has lavished so many good things on us, and we ought to be thankful for them.
- Love God and others more than stuff: In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. Loving God and others ought to be our priority. Possessions are not as important as people (Tweet this).
- Express your thankfulness to God and others: In Psalm 9:1 the Psalmist says, “I will give thanks to you Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” While thankfulness should be an attitude, that attitude, when displayed, is refreshing in a society that often overlooks blessings and service. When Jesus healed the ten lepers in Luke 17, Jesus wonders where the nine other lepers who were healed are because they did not “give praise to God” like the one who came back did. Thanksgiving is an act of praising God for what he has done in our lives. It gives him glory and ought to be practiced and expressed in our lives.
These six tips are helping me be more grateful during this season, and I hope they help us make Thanksgiving great.