Thanksgiving Isn’t Just for November
Verse 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
Yesterday we started talking about learning to live the opposite of grumbling and arguing by learning to live lives of praise. Praise is only one of the opposite aspects of grumbling. We also need to do everything with thankfulness.
While praise and thankfulness may seem like the same thing they are actually slightly different. Praise can have us acknowledging that God is in control and will bring us through, but thankfulness is taking it a step further and thanking Him for the trial. It is not saying that we are enjoying the trial but that we are thankful that He loves us enough to allow things in our lives that will help us grow.
Being thankful is not always easy. As we talked about the other day, we can face many things in life that bring us to a place of wanting to grumble. Anytime something doesn’t go our way or puts us in a place of inconvenience we start to grumble. But what if we were to find something to be thankful about in every situation?
When we struggle to accept what we are going through, whether it is because the checkout line is too long or the car in front of us isn’t going the speed limit when we want to be going a few miles per hour over the limit, we need to make the intentional choice of finding something to be thankful for in the moment. We could be thankful that God may be protecting us from an unseen issue or maybe we can be thankful that we have a moment to stand and collect our breath as we stand in line.
These acts of thankfulness are something that can become a way that we reflect Him to the world. If we were to look around at the others in the lines waiting to check out, how many are looking impatient? That is when we, as Christians, have the opportunity to live differently. When we choose to live as a people who don’t complain at minor inconveniences, or even major inconveniences, we have the opportunity to shine as a people who are thankful. It also may give us opportunity to start conversations where we can get to know strangers. What would the world look like if we were a thankful people instead of a complaining people?
Making It Personal
How prone are you to thankfulness? Does grumbling or thankfulness come more easily to you? What are you going to choose to be thankful for today?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you find it easy to complain? Have you ever tried to be thankful instead of complaining? What can you be thankful for instead of complaining about today?
Father, we complain so often when You have been so gracious to us. Give us a desire to live thankful lives that shine the truth of Your goodness. Help us make the choice of thanking You even when it is hard. In Jesus’ name, amen.