Whom do you need to thank today through your actions?
Have you thanked God for others: both for who they are and what they do?Â The past four Thursdays we have studied Hebrews 12:28 as our central verse looking into ways to be thankful.
Thanking God for answering prayers
Thanking God for meeting our needs
Thanking God for blessing us
Thanking God for who He is
This week on Thankful Thursday we finish our study on the five ways to be thankful, by looking to God and being thankful for other believers.
This time of year it seems, more so than any other, we are thinking about other people. As we celebrate the birth of Christ we often remember others with a traditional symbol of a gift to show them how much they mean to us. Or at least that is what we shouldÂ be doing. Somewhere in the past this meaning became blurred and gift giving morphed into something entirely different. Yes, we still purchase gifts to show others what they mean to us or as a token of appreciation but the gift giving has exploded into such commercialization that the gift appears no longer important just that there is one.
Once upon a time when you purchased a gift for someone you thought carefully about that person’s likes and dislikes. You wanted to get just the right gift that they would use, treasure, or one that held great importance. But it seems that somewhere along the line of time, gift giving became just an obligatory necessity of life that as long as there was a gift of sorts then you fulfilled your obligationÂ inÂ the area of appreciation. Nothing says thank you for all you do like a Chia Pet, right?
As we move from Thanksgiving into Advent we need to hold onto the feelings of gratitude and not let the overwhelming push and rush of Christmas rob us of the very thing we are to celebrate. It really is not a gift that shows gratitude but the actions behind it. William Arthur Ward said, ”Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” True expressed gratitude is really depicted in our actions to one another.
As we look to show the actions of gratitude we look to the Apostle Paul for guidance. Paul makes it clear in his letters to the different churches that He always thanked God for the people and their gracious gifts. Paul issued gratitude with actions as He prayed unsolicited to God for the people and made sure He let them know He was doing so. Paul was so grateful that they were believers. He prayed that they may have ”glorious faith,” ”spiritual wisdom,” and ”joy.” These are some of the most gracious gifts our Father in heaven can give us. Do you thank God for the people in your life and pray that God blesses them with these unbounded gifts?
As you approach the gift givingÂ season give yourself a challenge to give a gift in a different way. Giving gifts of gratitude through actions are gifts that you can give, not just at Christmas, but all year-long. They will always show true appreciation and thankfulness to both the people you give the gift to and to God for surrounding you with people who support you.
You don’t have to be a published ”Paul” to give gratitude through actions to other people. Think about your thanks with these 5 easy suggestions to keep your gift; giving all year-long.
Show sincerity with facial expressions. When you thank someone with actions do so by making eye contact and smiling.
Show sincerity with honesty. Don’t attempt to thank someone because you feel an obligation to do so. Insincerity is obvious, unappreciated, and a total waste of time.
Show sincerity with written words. In today’s world of electronics receiving a thank you with real written words on paper is a treasure. Emails and texts are quick but taking the time to write a handwritten note is special and more meaningful. It truly shows actions of gratitude.
Show sincerity with simplicity. You do not need to write a poem or create a scene of thanksgiving for show. Gratitude should be simple, pleasant, and to the point.
Show sincerity personally. Do not pass a word of thanks through someone else. Take the time to show gratitude through actions by doing this task yourself.
When thanking others be sure to start at the top by thanking God for the others that surround you. Let others know that you areÂ communicating with God on their behalf. Show true gratitude through actions with the deepest sincerity you can create.
Love in Christ,
A little Extra
Have you thanked God today for other believers?Â Join us in discussion, how is God working in your life?