I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog The importance of giving thanks

The Bible has any number of verses that deal with gratitude and giving thanks. Psalm 106:1 (KJV) states, “Praise ye the Lord, O give thanks unto the lord; for He is good: for his mercy endures for ever.

Giving thanks to a higher power than ourselves lifts our minds and hearts as well as focuses our attitudes away from complaining and blaming to lifting up instead of tearing down. Too often, however, it is easier not to practice gratitude, not to give thanks, not to praise anything or one. Excuses grow as our grumpy attitude grows.

Oh give thanks to the Lord! But not this evening. I had a rotten day at the office and have this beastly headache.

Oh give thanks to the Lord! Not now! Not when I’ve put up with the kids squabbling all day. Jimmy messed his diapers on the way to the store. What a mess! Besides, I may be coming down with the flu.

Oh give thanks to the Lord! Good grief! How can I give thanks when my favorite aunt just died? We were so close, and I wasn’t ready for this.

For all our many and varied excuses, God’s Word doesn’t change to suit our vacillating moods or circumstances. Philippians 4:4 (KJV) reads, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV) reads, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Most books on inspiration mirror that a positive attitude and gratitude are good for our relationships and our health.

Most of our problems, big or small, don’t seem quite so insurmountable when we refuse to tumble into a pattern of complaining. By complaining and refusing to be thankful, we imply God either isn’t strong enough or doesn’t care enough to help us in our times of need. It implies that short-term problems are bigger and more encompassing than they really are. By our negative words and actions, we deny ourselves the comfort not only of God’s presence to lift us up and give us a new perspective on our circumstances, but also makes those around us not want to be around us. Our attitude affects everyone, not just you and me.

Do I truly wish to always be unhappy, dragging down my family, friends, and everyone around me? Or do I wish to look up and let laughter and love flow through me, changing my perspective and my attitude?

Especially in downtimes, I need to remember to give thanks and to look up. Attitude matters. Why not choose to develop one of gratitude?  What better to time to start than during a celebration of Thanksgiving when giving thanks is supposed to be the core reason for the holiday. This year let’s make sure it is. So, what are you thankful for?

(C) 2021 Carolyn R Scheidies

Kearney Hub column published 11/22/2021

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