Sometimes I need to hear things backwards to fully grasp the meaning of words and phrases. While sitting at a ‘four-way stop’, where the traffic was ridiculously long, I complained how dumb it is to make every car stop at an intersection. A thought popped in my head and made me laugh aloud, what greater chaos there would be if the intersection was a four-way GO.
Thanksgiving Day is a great reminder for our need to be thankful for all we have received. It is sad however, that we need a holiday to remind ourselves of what we should be doing, always. Henry Van Dyke quotes:
‘Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.’
A world filled with thankful people who take what they have received, and give thanks for what they have and give out what they have received, agrees with the master planners design. But, when we people operate in a four-way go fashion, it creates chaos.
There is a proverb * that reads ‘The leech has two daughters, give and give’. At first glance, you would think that must be great to have two daughters that give and give all of the time. What the proverb really states is the opposite when translated with its full straight to the point meaning; ‘The bloodsucking waterleach has two daughters, that say, Bring (me), bring (me)’.
As most of us enjoy a government granted holiday time to stop and give thanks I dare to stop and ask myself am I truly grateful for all that the Good Lord has provided me? Or am I like a leech that wants more and keeps on asking or complaining for life to bring me all that I need. Do I beg for more happiness, more things, more help, more rest, more and more, so much to the point where it is an endless cycle of wanting to receive like a leech? Do I look around and see some that have more than I do and wish my life were better or am I thankful?
I want to answer a resounding yes, I am thankful!
Really, no advice is needed for me, you, or anyone to learn how to be thankful. All we need to do is to be thankful for what we have received. Whether it is a little, a lot, or what seems like nothing at all. It changes us from the inside out. Regardless of any circumstance if we resolve to be thankful in all situation, our world becomes brighter.
Thankfulness is not an event one day out of a year, but a daily state of being.
Give it a try, and may your Thanksreceiving moments always be ones that turn to Thanksgiving.
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In God’s economy system to many, some things seem to make no sense. Why would being thankful and giving out more, bring happiness? It was told that Jesus said ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’. However, try to explain that to a two-year-old when she has only one toy or pacifier.
Thus, we sit in a world where some are in a constant state of unhappiness feeling that their lives are awful and others have it so much better. Protests arise even in our own country with absurd rallies against police. (warning the YouTube video is very disturbing and contains obscene language against police) Thankfulness is the furthest thought from many whom have adopted a mindset far from the better to give than receive standard that God portrayed for us. We can get philosophical and attempt to explain theories and go in circles, I will make no such attempt but ask the unhappy, the broke and broken, to try operating from what seems backwards;
When it comes to giving:
Mark 4:24-25 “Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.” (MSG)
When it comes to receiving, know where it comes from as John the Baptist said;
“A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.”
When it comes to dealing with difficulties, learn from Paul who wrote the following during a time when he was falsely imprisoned;
‘ Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7 TLB)
The joy of thanksgiving becomes ‘real’, when we appreciate and are thankful for what has been given to us and follow it up with actions of giving. Otherwise it is just a going through the motions performance when we give without being thankful first.
Today especially, and continuing forward I vow to fill my mind with thanking the One who has given me everything, so that any ‘act’ of giving I do is truly from a heart of thanks. Let us take our Thanksreceiving and turn it into Thanksgiving.