“I thank my God every time I remember you” Philippians 1:3.
Let's reflect on gratitude. Gratitude is without a doubt a character trait that is lacking in today’s society. Greed, selfishness, ambition and pride run rampant. The world’s motto continues to be, “Make yourself happy.” Such an attitude could not be more opposite from the Gospel. And yet as Christians, if we aren’t careful, we can adopt the same mentality.
One thing that has always impressed me about the Apostle Paul’s life was his humble attitude of thanks to God in Christ. Throughout his New Testament letters, Paul reminded the believers he disciple, and his friends, of how grateful he was for them. What strikes me, though, is that his gratitude was always directed at God, and not people.
As Paul reflected on the people he loved most, he always told them, “I thank God for you.” Many times, especially of special occasions like Thanksgiving, we express our gratitude to the people we love. We ponder the blessings of God in our lives. We pause from the hustle and bustle to say, “thank you.” Maybe we write them a note, email, or text message. Maybe we update our status on Facebook or twitter. But, at whom is our thanksgiving directed?
While it is important to remind those we love that we are grateful for them, it is supremely important to remember from Whom these people come. Directing our thanks at the One who gives the gift keeps us in a posture of constant praise and humble gratitude, instead of waiting for a holiday to remind us of the good gifts He has given.
What are you thankful for and who? As you reflect on God’s greatest gifts in your life, remember Who to thank first. And may that gratitude spill over into the lives of the friends and family you celebrate.
Father, Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. May these not just be words, but the cry of my heart each and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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