Acting Thankful

      Colossians 3: 17  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him. As the Thanksgiving Holiday approaches I find myself thinking more about being thankful for the blessings I have been given.

When I pray a prayer of thanksgiving, I find myself spouting off a long list of “things” for which I am thankful.  At church we are asked to share something we have to be thankful for by writing it on a piece of paper or just simply telling the congregation verbally.  While at school I ask my students to complete a writing exercise by listing things they are thankful for as well.  I have done this a multitude of times and thought nothing more of it until recently.

I have heard that still small voice of The Lord, say, “Helen, you tell me you are thankful all the time but how do you show me you are thankful”?  It hit me like a ton of bricks; I sometime do not act like I’m thankful.  My words say one thing and my actions may say something else entirely.

The Bible has many things to say about being thankful both with words and actions.   I make a list of things for which I am thankful with ease but when I try to think of ways my actions show thankfulness I find myself falling short. How do I show God that I’m thankful rather than just by “lip service?”

I think the most important way is to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives.  If we do not know Him, how can we show him thankfulness?  By accepting Jesus as Savior we “show” him and others of our thankfulness for His death, burial, and resurrection.

Luke 22: 19  And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

Another way of acting thankful is by remembering Him.  If we only speak or think of Him on Sunday our thankfulness loses its power in our lives.  Remembering Jesus daily shows He is a part of every aspect of our lives.  In the middle of the storm, we totally and completely remember to “talk” to God, but when things seem to be going right, we put Him back on the shelf until we need Him again.  The Bible tells us to “remember” Jesus, who He is and what He did for us on the cross.  Our remembrance should evoke action.

2 Corinthians 9: 11   You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Yet another way to show thanks is to show generosity to others.  If we are truly grateful for what God has done for us and given to us, we will share our blessings with others.  Showing generosity is easy to do at Christmas and Thanksgiving but not as easy the rest of the year for some reason.    Generosity rarely happens by chance. It is an intentional decision that we make in our lives. There are many ways to be generous other than monetary.  We can give of our time, talents and abilities as well.

My prayer this Thanksgiving Season is that I start “acting as thankful as I sound!”

Helen Cook