Wednesday, November 28, 2012

No, thank YOU.
Every year we talk about keeping a heart of Thanksgiving all year around, and when it hits Christmas we talk about keeping the meaning of Christmas around all year... but let's be honest... it gets cliche. Sure we are thankful throughout the year, but usually it is when something great happens to us. 

Why is it so hard to live a life of thanksgiving?
1. Because every day is not Christmas.
It isn't every day that gifts land themselves in our laps and we get to be surprised and amazed. And like Christmas gifts, they get old; the newness of the gift wears off.
That camera we got for Christmas last year is really exciting when we first tear the wrapping paper off, but after some time we get used to the fact that we have that camera that we had been drooling over. And after a month or so we don't pick it up astonished that it is actually ours. Sure we still own that camera, but the excitement of that ownership has worn off.

The same thing is true concerning the gifts God has given us. All of those things that we post a Facebook status saying we are thankful for leading up to November are still true. We still have a wonderful family and the best friends in the world, but we get used to those people. We are still thankful for Christ's redeeming power and unfailing love, but sadly we grow to expect it.

2. Another reason is we don't always get what we want.
"You don't always get what you want...." Oh. (hehe)
This is something we all have come to understand in our life, we don't always get what we want. Sure we are glad we have what we have, but it is easy to let the disappointment of failed hopes fog our memories.

So, with that being said, we have come back to the ever resounding question this time of year, how do we live a life of thanksgiving?

First of all by being humble.
Don't think highly of yourself. Have confidence, but don't have pride.
Elevate others. You know, we can put so much effort into elevating ourselves, but if we would just exalt God and exalt others God is going to elevate us on the fast train.
If you looked up exalt in the dictionary you would find that it says:
"Raise in rank, character, or status."
"Praise, glorify, or honor."

Philippians 2:3-9 says
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." (SAY WHAT? That's a new concept) Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross! (<--- see that exclamation point?) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name."
God is all about raising up the lowly, but not at all about raising up the prideful and the puffed up. He exalts the ones who are humbled, so if you want God to elevate you and promote you, promote others and promote Christ. Have an attitude of Christ.

Finally, cultivate a life of thanksgiving by learning to be content.
Content: satisfied or showing satisfaction with things as they are.
This did not mean to be happy and content when everything is going well, it says to be satisfied with things as they are. This could be good or bad. Bad things will happen, but it is the way we respond to them that will determine if we will get taken down with discontentment or if we will be content in God.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 says,
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
This says to be joyful no matter what happens.
Pray continually. Don't wait for a crisis to start talking to God, pray before you see a problem.
Give thanks during the good times and the bad.

Paul says in Philippians 4,
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
That last verse is a commonly quoted verse, but maybe we have used it out of context in some regards. I have often heard that verse quoted when something appears to be difficult and it is used to offer encouragement, but here Paul is saying, "I am content no matter what my situation is because no matter the situation, I can get through anything by the strength of the one who enables me." It doesn't matter how much we have or how much we are lacking, we have satisfaction through Christ.

I know this is a challenge to me, to be humble and to be content. I know that being humble is often a challenge for me because sometimes it makes me feel and appear weak, but I have learned I best just humble myself because it is A LOT better than God having to humble me! 
Let's truly live a life of thankfulness. We have reason to celebrate and live joyfully because of all that God has done for us and in us.

Don't forget to come by and link up tomorrow for the Not Quite There Yet link up. Great ladies to be met and lots of networking fun to be had. See you tomorrow!


  1. This is a great post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Found you through a GFC blog hop and excited to be a new follower! I hope you will stop by my site if you get a chance!

  2. what a poignant post! thanks for sharing, I so agree.
    Helene in Between

  3. So true, and pride would certainly be the main reason we are not thankful. We all could use a bit more humility, and that's the truth of it all.
    Thanks for sharing your heart here.