In just a few days the American government will require you to be thankful (at least they will give you one more reason to be thankful – a day off).
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What Is Necessary To Be A Truly Thankful Person?
Thankful people focus on what they have, not what they do not have.
At times I reflect on the situation in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had everything they needed except for access to one small tree. It seems as though resisting that tree would be easy – there must have been thousands of other eligible trees. But, Adam and Eve begin to think about The One Tree (with the help of that slick snake). In that moment, their focus turns from what they have to what they do not have. Ultimately, they think God is withholding something good from them. They are not thankful for what they have.
Financially, many people have a lot. But they don’t think about the many things they have. They think about what other’s have. They spend most of their lives discontent because they do not have as much as their neighbor. What a miserable existence.
Thankful people admit they have more than they deserve.
I still don’t know why so many Dave Ramsey callers ask – how are you? The answer is predictable – “better than I deserve”. Part of what is appealing about Ramsey is that he is massively successful but does openly say that he does not deserve everything he has.
Some call it luck. Others call it blessings. The truth is we all have more than we deserve.
For Christians there is this realization that what we have is a gift of grace. Everything is a graceful gift from God. A thankful person allows for a close relationship between grace and economics. As such, thankful people comfortably admit that God is the source of financial increase.
Thankful people know thankfulness is something we develop.
I have green eyes. That is part of how I was made.
I learned to to type. This skill is developed.
Unfortunately, many of us think that we are made thankful. I disagree. I believe that we learn to become thankful. One must first learn to be thankful, and then regardless of what they have they can be thankful.
Therefore, thankfulness is much like the wealth building process. You will not be rich when you have enough money, but you will be rich when you realize everything you already have. If you decide to be thankful when you get “x” then probably once you get that item you actually will just want something more.
Thankful people gauge blessings by things other than money.
Money is one way we are blessed as individuals.
There are, however, many, many other ways we are blessed as individuals.
This Thanksgiving your table might have some of the world’s finest garnishments. The table may be covered with the finest festive spread. But, if that is the extent of your thankfulness you are missing out on the greatest blessings available.
Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred. (Proverbs 15:17 NIV)
If you are surrounded this Thanksgiving by friends and/or family, you are one of the most blessed people in the world. If you know Jesus and have a relationship with him, joy overflows. If you have children who honor and respect you – you have much for which to be thankful.
Go ahead. I dare you. Take this Thanksgiving to answer what really are the greatest blessings you enjoy? Do those things come from money?
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)