I know what you’re thinking. The boy has lost his mind. Maybe the sudden change from all that cool, wet weather to upper 90’s has boiled his brain. It’s the middle of June, for crying out loud! Turkey, pumpkin pie, and football are 5 months away!
Well, my friends, when I say “Happy Thanksgiving,” I’m talking about choosing an attitude, not celebrating a day. This attitude that can result in a lifestyle. One of my friends greets people every day with, “Happy Tuesday,” (or whatever day it is). That greeting always lifts my spirits.
Some of you know that I launched a podcast ( click here to find out more about Your Church Matters) on January 1, 2015. There have been a couple of times that the podcast has been based on something that I previously wrote in my column/blog.
Today I am writing my column/blog based on one of my podcasts. In last week’s episode (Take the 5 for 5 Thankfulness Challenge), I shared five benefits of Intentional Thankfulness. I think those benefits are worth sharing with a different audience, so here they are.
Five Benefits of Intentional Thankfulness
1. Intentional thankfulness refocuses on what you have rather than what you lack. We are constantly bombarded with the message that we would be happier if we only had more __________ (you fill in the blank). The truth is that focusing on what we lack actually makes us more discontented.
2. Intentional thankfulness reminds us that everything we have is a gift of God’s grace. Even if we worked hard for it, the ability to work hard is a gift from God. That’s not a perspective that is universally agreed upon, but I draw great courage and energy knowing that I am not my own best resource.
3. Intentional thankfulness reframes temporary difficulties in light of eternal realities. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). Some of our troubles are seriously heavy until we compare them with the eternal glory of following Jesus.
4. Intentional thankfulness makes us more pleasant to be around. Think of a constant complainer you know. Do you really look forward to spending time with that person? Misery loves company, but company does not love misery.
5. Intentional thankfulness elevates those around us. Thankfulness is contagious. Choose to be a carrier.
I want to wrap this up today by thanking the person who delivered a wonderful hand-crafted gift to me at the newspaper office in appreciation for my writing. I know you don’t want recognition, so I will honor that. You know who you are and I am abundantly blessed and thankful.
Our lives matter to God, friends. That should cause us great gratitude.
Maybe even enough for some pumpkin pie in June.
Question: How will you choose thankfulness today?