It’s the week of Thanksgiving here in the United States. It’s a time that we stop and think about how thankful we are. At least that’s the idea. But with family, food and football it’s difficult to squeeze in much time to think about thankfulness.
The question that I have is: How do you gauge thankfulness?
Is it a warm feeling deep down inside? The warmer the feeling the greater the thankfulness? Sounds too mystical.
Is it an assertion that says I’m thankful? And the more confident your assertion the more it becomes a reality? In that case A type personalities will certainly be more thankful than the rest of us.
Is it an attitude, a way of thinking? I think therefore I am. Doesn’t sound right.
Is it something that we just say so it must be true? Sort of like, I’m the best basketball player in the world – so I automatically become the best basketball player in the world. That would send Lebron James into fits of laughter.
So how do you gauge thankfulness?
Is it even possible to gauge thankfulness?
There must be a way to determine, say on a scale of 1 – 100, how thankful you really are.
As it turns out, there are several ways that you can gauge your thankfulness.
You can gauge your thankfulness by how generous you are.
God loves generous people.
Psalm 112:5 says It is well with the man who deals [with other people] generously.
In other words, God wants us to be generous.
I seriously doubt that you can give generously without being thankful for what you have.
And I believe that when you are thankful for what you have – knowing that it all came from God (Psalm 24:1, James 1:16-17) you will in turn be generous.
You can gauge your thankfulness by how much your generosity costs you.
Do you remember the story of the widow in Luke 21? After the wealthy people had dumped their bags of money into the treasury in the Temple in Jerusalem, she put in her two coins. They gave out of their abundance – which is better than not giving at all, but it didn’t cost them anything. They had plenty more where that came from. There was really no generosity in what they did.
Then she put in her two coins. They were all she had. Her generosity costs her everything.
Jesus’ commentary on it was this: I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.
Giving generously is not the same as giving extravagantly. But when you give generously it will cost you something.
You can gauge your thankfulness by your satisfaction in the difficult times of life.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God.
Being thankful in the good times of life doesn’t tell you anything about yourself except that life is good.
It’s when you can be satisfied with what God is doing in your life as the sky falls in that you know you are a thankful person.
The difficult times in life reveal a lot about us.
Being thankful is more than just saying you’re thankful. Saying it doesn’t make it so.
Being thankful is about what you do. It’s about your actions.
Thursday is coming. It’s time to be thankful.
Stay in the Word