Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Living Out Our Thanks

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” by ~ John F. Kennedy

As I sit here and read what John F. Kennedy had to say I also hear the phrase, “words are cheap.” We can talk all we want but unless we live by the words we speak they are worthless. God didn’t create us to be a source of hot air with no actions to back what we are saying. He wants us to put action behind our words instead of words of excuses behind our actions.

John F. Kennedy wasn’t the first person who recognized the fact that we need to put what we say into motion. Many people expressed it before and after him as well. Actions are the meat that gives substance to our words. We can have actions without words but words without actions just don’t seem to work.

With Thanksgiving two days away we need to not only take a look at our thankful list but our list of actions as well. Is our thankfulness showing up in our lives? Would anyone know we were thankful people by looking at what we do or say? Is our thankfulness seasonal or situational?

Years ago when life was at its worse for me I had myself convinced that 1 Thes 5:18 “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” did not pertain to me. Paraphrased to fit my actions it came out looking like this, “In everything give thanks if things are going well for you, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for everyone but Karen. She’s excused because her situation is unique.” Yeah right! Satan had me wearing blindfolds and I helped tie them on. My thankfulness was seasonal and definitely situational.

I’m amazed looking back at the time and energy I wasted in being “unthankful” or not putting what I was thankful for into action. “In everything” means just that. There are no exceptions to the rules. If we look long and hard enough behind every mundane thing there is we can find a reason to be thankful. Once we get to looking we can see God at work as hidden blessings pop into view from behind the scenes.

Thankfulness is something that often needs to be taught. Instead of showering Heaven with our complaints we need to start flooding it with our thanks. Thanks with substances behind them showing our thanks instead of living off the “utter only” method we so often adopt.

Sadly enough it seems like we often fight against being thankful, I know that was what I was doing. After all if we are thankful for the situation of a spouse being without a job, a friend with cancer, prodigal children then we are “accepting” the situation as being okay with us, therefore, we think God is going to freeze us in it since we are thankful for it. Good gravy! Get ye behind us Satan!!! Remove those silly blindfolds!

Being thankful, and turning to God with our thanks for all the things He does for us and what He is, is the energy that gets us through situations not frozen in them. Being thankful tells Satan to buzz off that our focus remains on God no matter what. It becomes our responsibility to show that appreciation for God’s behind the scenes work and that which He does full-stage by living out our thanks in our actions, attitudes, and attributes in our day to day lives.

Thank you Lord, Thank you!

© 2009 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing


Denise Hughes said...

"I’m amazed looking back at the time and energy I wasted in being “unthankful” or not putting what I was thankful for into action." Oh, Karen, you speak great wisdom here. Ungratefulness does sap our time and energy! Yet, thankfulness seems to energize us. Thanks for encouraging us to "put into action" what we are truly thankful for.

Debbie said...

Karen, I loved how said "tell Satan to buzz off" and that our focus is on God. Amen to that.

Great post on living out our thanks. Happy Thanksgiving.


Tami Boesiger said...

Indeed "words are cheap." I pray I learn to thank God more and complain and ask questions less.

He alone is God.

Thanks for your insights and participating today, Karen.