It's Thanksgiving- what should we talk about? Gratitude
When I read this passage my first thought is, "How am I going to have this kind of thankfulness and gratitude that David has?" "How am I going to have this kind of gratitude when I am not focused on rejoicing and dancing, I am only thinking of my bad circumstances?" "Is gratitude possible?"
Before we talk about what gratitude is, what isn't gratitude?
Do you know what the opposite of gratitude is? It is a brat.
A brat - you know, entitled, selfish, takes things for granted. Am I getting what I deserve? I can be a brat sometimes. I could tell you plenty of stories where I think that I am the most important person in the story and it is all about me.
Whenever all I can think about is myself, gratitude is going to be impossible.
What true gratitude does is it changes your perspectives from everything being all about you to everything being all about God.
Are you supposed to think about yourself? Absolutely. You are very important and you have needs. The goal isn't to forget about yourself, the goal is to get yourself and your perspective out of the place that ultimately God belongs. God wants your attention. All of it. And when God has your attention, what is important to God becomes important to you. God and God's gifts will become important to you. As you pursue God and the things of God, gratitude will follow.
We think gratitude is more focused on what am I getting than what do I have. We think gratitude is more focused on what do I have than who gave it to me. True gratitude can only happen when we ultimately know the Giver.
What happens is we end up losing gratitude when we take God out of the equation and decide who God is based on our circumstances. If your gratefulness is based on your circumstances prepare for a bumpy ride. Being grateful isn't about convincing yourself that life isn't hard, its about being able to see God's goodness in the midst of life. It's about being able to see that there is a perfect God who thought it was a good idea to bring you into existence. That in the midst of life's most challenging times, we can still be grateful that God chose to give us life. He didn't have to. He could have skipped over you. But He thought that you were just what this world needed. That you were the missing piece.
You have to know God's intentions. His intentions are always good. Every single time. You would be missing out on who God is if you blamed Him for every bad thing that happens in your life. You need to have gratitude that God is good. Then you need to have gratitude that God made you because He loves the heck out of you. And last, you need to have gratitude for every gift that God gives you. From the smallest gift to the biggest. The food that you eat, that you get to go to college, for waking up today, for Him creating you, for His gift of His Son.
So let me ask you, instead of what are you thankful for, are you even thankful at all?
If you are, what exactly are you thankful for?
What is this holiday season going to be about?
Your circumstances? What you do or don't have? You?
Or is this holiday season going to be about God? About who He is? About what He has done? About who He has made you to be? About all of the things that He has given you?
God, thank you that you are good. Thank you for every gift. Thank you for who you are. Thank you for giving us life. Thank you for loving the heck out of us. Thank you for sending your Son to die and rise for us and setting us free from the power of sin and death. Thank you. Amen.
- Taylor Childers