Cultivate Thankfulness

Cultivate Thankfulness

Thursday, 27 March 2014  | Narelle - MECS Principal
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you, who belong to Christ Jesus, to live. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – The Message)

A number of years ago in the Good Weekend magazine, there was a little column that asked a series of questions to a notable person each week. Questions such as; What are you angry about? What are you exultant about? Who would you most like to meet? What would you never give up? The final question was always, What do you want more of?
Over the weeks, you would get the ‘typical’ answers to this question – money, holidays, happiness, laughter, sleep… One week the questions were addressed to cinematographer, Christopher Doyle. In response to this question, he simply responded, “I have enough.”
Wow – what an answer! Would you have instinctively answered the question that way? Even as Christians, there always seems to be something we want more of. However, I am reminded of this saying:

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness…you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation… you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death… you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep… you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace… you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you can read this message… you are more blessed than over 2 billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

So, do we have enough?
Perhaps, it’s only when we cultivate a sense of gratitude or thankfulness in our lives do we stop wanting more! As we nurture this spirit, it takes the focus off ourselves and helps us to see God and the needs of others more clearly. Colossians 3:17 encourages us to
“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ - the Message - have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives - words, actions, whatever - be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”

Recently I read in one of my daily devotional guides:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

How important, as we partner together in the educating and nurturing of young people, is it to pass on this important message and truth? We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with the message of ‘more, more, more’! This message is particularly alluring to young people as they establish their identities and sense of self. We need to be an example of those who are cultivating a spirit of thankfulness and generosity. We need to be modelling a lifestyle that says, ‘I have enough.’ We need to be a community of faith that finds our identity in Him, not in what we have. What a challenge! Our prayer is that God will continue to equip us for the task of being His people in the world – living out the values of the new Kingdom that he is already establishing.

Got something to add?

  • Your Comment