As culture continues to disassociate itself from moral authority, as a society we are becoming less and less thankful. This makes sense since not giving thanks to God is a mark of a godless society (Rom 1:21). On the other hand, Christians are to be marked by contains thanksgiving (Phil 4:6; 1 Tim 4:4). Thus, in honor of our Thanksgiving, I want to give three simple ways to train yourself to be thankful in a thankless culture.
- Focus on what you deserve.
This should be the ultimate prompt for Christians. As Christians we are recipients of a thing called grace. We deserve hell and eternal damnation. We deserve nothing good, only judgment for rebelling against the Creator. Thus, how much do we have to be thankful for when we realize we are not getting what we deserve?
- Focus on what you have, not what you don’t.
This is a round-about way of talking about contentment. If you focus on the blessings God has given you, you are less likely to suffer from the “I want that” syndrome. God has given us so many things, pay attention to what He has given you—and thank Him for those undeserved (see #1) blessings.
- Focus on being a giver, not one who receives.
This is of course based on my favorite thing Jesus ever said about the Christian life, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” When we take the focus off of ourselves and give to others there is a transformation that occurs. It is hard to be self-centered when we are giving to others. Ironically, when we give to others we become thankful that we have the opportunities to give because we see those opportunities as the greatest blessings of life. Thus, if you are struggling to be thankful, train yourself to like giving better than receiving.
I hope this short post helps you in being a thankful person (since that is your duty as a Christian). I pray that you join me in thanking our Lord for so many wonderful things He has given us! Happy Thanksgiving!