It’s the third day of November and the 30 days of gratitude are upon us; that time when blog posts, facebook statuses, and tweets show up every day listing all the things someone is grateful for. There isn’t anything wrong with that in and of itself but my concern is when our words and actions don’t add up.
I’m so glad God has brought you into my life…but we live in our relationships and govern them no differently than the pagans do.
I’m so thankful for my children…but we refuse to accept the responsibility of raising them in a way that honors the One who has given them to us.
I’m so thankful I can be a stay at home mom…but we take no delight in the work we have been given and constantly complain about how hard it is.
We despise the gifts we’ve been given and the way we live reveals this despite the words of gratitude that roll so easily off our tongues, glib and smooth in their perfect Sunday school answer.
Really, I’m not anti gratitude posts and certainly think we can all benefit from taking time each day to acknowledge all the good and perfect gifts we are blessed with, big and small.
I’m just thinking that for the Christian it must be more than lip service. It must have more weight than the casual hat tip to a stranger holding open a door for us.
If we’re truly thankful for that husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend/mentor then we live out those relationships in a way that honors Him.
If we truly see children as blessing from God then we take on the sometimes exhaustive and always constant work of teaching them diligently of the One who has created them and given them life.
If we truly are grateful to be able to stay at home then we don’t squander the time we’re given each day to serve our family nor do we begrudge that work.
Of course it’s easy to talk about being ungrateful when we actually have something we should be grateful for and we aren’t. But what about when life doesn’t match our expectations? When we’re lonely, or childless, or we have a really really cruddy job. How are we thankful then?
And that is the key to genuine thankfulness. Being able to say as Paul did, “I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content”. It’s when we are able to face any situation, however difficult, no matter what seems lacking, and still trust God that all is well…that we are made strong in our weakness and that we are able to do all things in Him…that we know genuine life changing gratitude.
Real thankfulness, the kind that declares the glory of our King, is adorned with contentment. So share your list of things your grateful for over the next thirty days. But let your living match up to those words so that you aren’t despising the same gifts you say your grateful for.