by Dr. David Thompson
NASHVILLE, TN – There is one thing—that everyone can give…. from the penniless pauper to the wealthiest magnate—that one thing is “Thanks”! Tis the season for some but ‘tis always the season for one that knows God. Followers of Jesus should always and forever be the most grateful folk this side of heaven. Some may have more “stuff” or be more “noticed” or possess more talent—ahh but nobody should be better at giving thanks—than you.
Here are a few of the ten million reasons you should be grateful:
You are completely and unequivocally and forever—“Forgiven”. My favorite author C.S.Lewis puts it so succinctly,” to be a Christian is to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you”!! WOW! Chew on that.
You can choose and control little—but you can always control your level of thanksgiving. “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong—the amount of work is the same” …. so says Carlos Castaneda. Is that true? Is he right? Two words—“YOU BET”! Bet you didn’t know it takes twice as many muscles to frown as it does to smile. A grateful heart cannot help but smile.
You have a vehicle in gratitude that propels you “UP”. The great motivator Dale Carnegie taught this lesson often—says he, “develop success from failure…. discouragement and failure are two of the biggest stepping stones of success“. I submit to you that the only way that is true (and it is true), is if you have an attitude of gratitude for all the good God is doing in you. Thanksgiving shoots you out of where you are to exactly where our Lord wants you to be.
You genuinely are able to “Love “more and be “loved” when thankful. “When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves “William Arthur Ward points out. You see true love is always promoting others—not self. Is it even remotely possible to do that with an ungrateful spirit? NO! The Jewish hymn scribe was correct—“It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord… and to sing praises to your name… O Most High” (Psalm 92).
You can see the invisible when giving thanks! Before he was ever famous on the world’s stage, he was just a fiery Baptist preacher—and he preached, ”you don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.“ Reverend M.L.King lived it—What’s that have to do with being thankful? Everything! If you have never thanked God for something in advance—just try it! Ultimately, the Lord does what the Lord wills to do; however, your own personal gratitude has everything to do with how you experience each day—and eventually how you love Jesus.
You can accomplish great things when you are a grateful person. Norman Vincent Peale noted, “There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment”. You my dear friend were put here on earth to accomplish something that only you can and that for the glory of God. The only way to rightfully do that is to first accept the mantle of responsibility of complete and utter thanksgiving to God with all your heart.
Just try it for 30 days and I promise you your life will never be the same. And all those around you will also be changed into grateful beings. Only once does the apostle Paul in his final letter say these emphatic words, “this is the will of God, that in everything you give thanks“! You are welcome—says The Lord!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. David L. Thompson holds an undergraduate degree from Belmont University in Psychology and Religion, a graduate degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Education, and a doctorate in Counseling and Pastoral Psychology. He has served as a chairman of the Church Planting Group and Executive Committee Chair at the North American Mission Board for 10 years. He has been a Police Chaplain since 1991 and served as a Corporate Chaplain to the Coca Cola Bottling Company in Nashville, Tennessee where he resides with his wife. He has six children and five grandsons.