Thanks

September 6, 2016

shout

Of all the heavenly gifts we have to be thankful for, one of the most frequently overlooked is the gift of gratitude. From ants to elephants, God has poured out his blessings on all his creatures. But to humankind alone he has reserved the ability to combine reason and imagination to express thankfulness. G. K. Chesterton even claimed that giving thanks is the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

 

 

 Here are three practices to help develop this God-given ability to “always thank God” (1Th 1:2):

  1. Count your blessings—Honing your skill of thanksgiving requires that you expand your capacity to pay attention. As Pastor M. Craig Barnes writes in The Pastor as Minor Poet, “I doubt that there is such a thing as a measure of spirituality, but if there is, gratitude would be it. Only the grateful are paying attention. They are grateful because they pay attention, and they pay attention because they are so grateful.”

 Make a list every week of five to ten blessings you’ve noticed in your life, numbering each item and listing them only once. Review your list and say a prayer of thanksgiving for each item.

  1. Say grace—Throughout history, Christians have made a habit of “saying grace,” a short prayer recited before a meal to give thanks for their food. While you should continue that discipline (or take it up anew), you might find it helpful to expand the range of when you “say grace.” To quote Chesterton again,

  You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

  1. Say thanks for your neighbor—Want to make others feel appreciated and share the power of gratitude? Make a habit of contacting someone each week—in person, by phone or through email or social media—and let them know you are grateful they are in your life. The results might surprise you!

  2. Say thank you to your spouse, after 42 years of marriage, one of the things that has helped us is we’ve always been good at saying thank you, even for the smallest things.

My kids learned that I was very serious about being thankful, one day as I picked up a bunch of kids to go bowling, my son said to one of his friends; “make sure you say thanks to my dad or you’ll never get picked up again.”

 

Thank you all those that read and bless me.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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