The Behavior of the Truly Grateful

Facebook is full of friends sharing their daily “I’m thankful for” posts. This late in the month, a few people are running out of things to list.

Let’s dig deeper. Thanksgiving is so much more than a day or a month of talking about the stuff we appreciate. Thanksgiving is a personality characteristic. It is a lifestyle. Genuinely grateful people stay there – they live thankfulness.

Here are a few observations about the behavior of truly grateful people:

They see what they have. Maybe because they haven’t always had it, maybe because they once had it and lost it. But they now recognize the gifts that they enjoy.

They savor what they have. They take their time and enjoy and really experience the blessing. No rushing through the motions. They make it last as long as possible.

They share what they have. Those who are really thankful enjoy their blessings so much that they don’t want to deprive others of the same thing. So they share. In fact, selfish people are the most ungrateful folks around.

What are you truly grateful for?

See it. Savor it. Share it.

The Best Things in Life are …

The best things in life are NOT free. I understand the inference of the old adage that says that they are: in essence, it means that you can’t buy happiness. That remains very much true. But I believe that some folks may misunderstand the concept.

As we are approaching Thanksgiving week, people will be waxing sentimental about the things for which they are grateful. Invariably, some will focus on the simple things in life; family, health, food, peace of mind and so on. The point of this post is this: these things, and all of the things we may categorize as simple, are not free. Rather, they are very expensive. A healthy family does not just happen, each individual invests a lot of themselves, or it will not be healthy. The food we enjoy is expensive – not just at the grocery store, but someone had to work hard to provide the food and put it on the table. Good health is many times, the result of healthy living. The best things in life will cost you.

Unfortunately, some are sitting idly by waiting for someone to give them the best things in life. They feel deprived when they can’t enjoy the nice things that others enjoy. They bemoan the fact that they do not have friends to spend time with. They may find it difficult to be thankful when so much of life is void of the “best things”. While compassion certainly is apropos for this season, so is personal responsibility.

I am thankful for the best things in life. These things cost many people a lot. The very best thing, my relationship with God, cost Jesus His life. Very expensive!

Give thanks to God for He is good, His mercy endures forever! Psalms 107:1

the lesser blessing

God has the very best for us but most of us never get there. We settle for blessings like money or security or other things we can acquire. While these things are considered blessings, they should be considered as second-rate blessings. In other words, you can do better.

Let me explain. When most American talk about “being blessed”, they are talking about material things: houses, cars, boats, jobs.  Without doubt, these things are provided by God – and they are blessings. But sometimes the acquisition of these blessings has cost us something of much greater value. While it is not always the case, some lesser blessings cost us greater blessings. We have traded. If financial gain is the best blessing you have, you are not experiencing God’s best. According to Jesus, you can’t serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24)

Plainly put: if you skip worship to go out for a day of relaxation, your relaxation is a more valued blessing to you than experiencing God’s presence with your church family.

If you make a lot of money on your job but you neglect your family in doing so, your money is a more important blessing than your family.

You have blessings, but they are lesser blessings. You have settled for second-rate.

Life has fooled us. Many of us have been duped into thinking that $ = blessing. Dig a little deeper and you get to real blessings, like: Relationships. Love. Eternal life. The Presence of God. These are first-rate blessings – Greater Blessings!

Jesus asks you a very straightforward question: “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?” (Mark 8:36) I think we know the answer: lesser blessings.

Don’t settle for the lesser blessing. Let God give you His very best!