"Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road."
~ John Henry JowettI once heard it said that the most evident character quality of a Christian should be thankfulness. This is so true! As believers, we know from what we have been spared and how little we deserve it. This should continually drive us to our knees in thanksgiving to God!
One of the books that impacted me the most this year was "Choosing Gratitude" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I'll share more about how this changed my thinking in a later blog post, but for now, I'll just share some of the convicting quotes from the book:
"If tomorrow's supply depended on today's thanksgiving, how much would I have tomorrow?"
"Ungrateful people tend to hold tightly to their rights."
"Is the gratitude that flows out of your life as abounding as the grace that flowed into your life?"
My God, I have never thanked You for my thorn!
I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorn.
Teach me the glory of the cross I bear;
teach me the value of my thorns.
Show me that I have climbed to You by the path of pain.
Show me that my tears have made my rainbow.
~ George MathesonI'm convicted as I type these quotes and probing questions, because I so often complain, rather than praise! I so often whine, rather than worship. I often cry for the things I want, instead of thanking God for the things He's given me!
It's important to chronicle the things that the Lord has given us. After reading this book, I started a Gratitude Account and every morning, first thing, I'd write down 5 things that I was thankful for! I've long since stopped doing this- out of negligence and laziness- but I am determined to start up again. My goal is to record 1,000 gifts from the Lord- be they simple or complex. It's not an original idea: 1,000 Gifts
I would encourage you to cultivate a thankful heart by reflecting on the blessings that the Lord has bestowed on you this past year- be they sought-for ones or seemingly hard ones!
"Gratitude is a lifestyle. A hard-fought, grace-infused, biblical lifestyle."
O, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
and for His wonderful work to the children of men.
~ Psalm 107:8, 15, 21,31