This is day four of a seven-part series on Thanksgiving. I’m honored to participate in a blog-hop with 7 friends, over 7 days all about Thanksgiving. You can read the previous blogs by clicking on the links below:
Over the past month, I’ve been working on memorizing Colossians chapter three. In God’s funny way of putting things together, I was in the middle of verses 15-17 when I read these words…
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
3 times in 3 verses Paul instructs us to be thankful people.
When I was growing up, I remember, more than once, hearing my dad repeat some instruction to me. I would mouth-off by saying, “I know dad!” And he would reply, “Well if you knew, then I wouldn’t have to be telling you again.” In other words, me knowing what he said, and doing it, were two different things. I did know what my dad’s instructions were, but obviously I wasn’t putting them into practice or he wouldn’t be instructing me again!
I think the Bible repeats commands for the same reason. We know we’re supposed to be thankful, but we don’t always put it into practice in the circumstances we face in life. Check out the contexts in which Paul reminds us to be thankful.
First, he says to be thankful people when we work to live at peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ. As we work out our differences, as we try to get along and we learn to give the grace we want to receive, we need to do it with thankfulness. We are blessed to be in the Family of God, even though that family is filled with flawed people (like us)! As we learn to live at peace with others, we need to be thankful for the community that God has given us.
Secondly, Paul tells us to be thankful as we join together with others in the corporate worship of God. He says this in two parts: the gathering of believers for instruction, and the gathering of believers for singing. Church attendance shouldn’t be a chore, it should be a weekly experience bathed in thanksgiving! Do you attend church? Do you do so with Thanksgiving? Before you head thru the church doors next week, read Colossians 3:16 and choose to enter with Thanksgiving — see how it changes your worship experience.
Finally, Paul goes for the biggie. At the end of verse 17 he says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed…give thanks…” In case you thought thankfulness was only a matter of being around other Christians, or a matter of our attitude in church, he reminds us that thankfulness is to permeate ever word and every deed. Thankfulness should be a mark of those choosing to live for God.
Does thankfulness permeate every word and deed of your life? Do your coworkers see you as a thankful person? Do your classmates see you as a thankful student? Does your spouse hear thankfulness in your words? Do your children feel thankfulness flow from your parenting?
Let’s work to be known as thankful people. As my friend Terry pointed out, it will have a profound chemical impact on your health. As Traci as shared, thankfulness is a choice that we can make, even when that choice is hard. As Bev shared, an attitude of gratitude can change the simplest of chores (even dusting) into an enjoyable experience. Thankfulness is truly a game-changer.
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!
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