I Thank God For Joan
I have someone to thank. My friend Joan has been amazing! I asked her to come up with a project that my 7 Rivers Knitters could do while she visited here, and look what she did. She designed these awesome Zulu Decorative Pillow Covers that people can buy to make their home beautiful. We went shopping and cut out fabric together. We planned out and assembled these kits … and what a blessing they have been to the ladies. Yes, it has been challenging for them, but not impossible. We are learning and growing to make new beautiful things.
Joan has been a blessing in my life for many years. This last opportunity to think thanks was just so over-the-top. I was grateful for her thoughtful kindness and for the sustained effort she put into developing this project.
I thank the Lord for Joan. I am thankful to Joan. I am thankful for Joan.
The opportunity to thank someone is seldom out of reach. When we thank someone, we give credit to them. As I thank God for my friend Joan, I give Him credit for creating Joan and for sanctifying her and for equipping her as He has.
When I thank Joan, I give her credit as well. I say that I notice how creative she is, how much effort she put into designing the pillows, knitting and sewing a prototype, raising funds for the project, helping me shop for fabric and yarn, compiling kits, mentioning to her that I couldn’t and wouldn’t have done this project without her. There is so much credit I can give for so many things, rather than just saying “thanks for all your help on this.” It is a lovely thing to give someone “expansive credit.”
Am I looking for opportunities to express thanks? To give expansive credit to someone? Or do I maybe just sum up a massive amount of thanks for a sustained and multifaceted effort someone has made with a curt, “Hey, thanks”? Or worse yet, do I just think thanks and then say nothing? Don’t let your introverted personality or stoic culture stand in the way of practicing this godly discipline in your life.
It is interesting to note that when I go without something for a while, I become much more thankful to receive it back. The absence of something we have taken for granted – like electricity or water or a job or a friend – makes us aware of how nice it was to have those things or people. Only then, we realize that we need to be careful not to take that thing for granted. Must I lose something or someone to be truly thankful for them? Too many people give expansive credit to others only at their funeral. Give them a eulogy (eu=good; logos=message) before they die.
“We’re living in an age of entitlement. People believe that they are deserving of privileges or special treatment. “I have this coming to me.” As a Jesus-follower, let’s build our lives on what HE looks like, and overflow with thankfulness. Let’s not overflow with negativity or insensitivity, seldom praising the people we live with and work with. The Bible says bluntly, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21) We’ve all felt the pain of name-calling, put-downs, anger — things that killed our joy, confidence, or sense of worth. But there are some unforgotten comments that are like wind beneath our wings; among them is the powerful uplift of a “thank you.” An acknowledgment, a “thank you” to a son or daughter for their strength of character, generosity, sensitivity to people who are hurting, for their passion, sense of humor, discipline, insight, or honesty. This will cause them to flourish.”Dick Hester
Entitlement is a preoccupation about what has not come to me but should have. The energy is on pulling in the focus, on self-promotion, on gaining attention, on demanding privilege. The worst is when lethargy and mediocrity demand such things. Thankfulness is reverse entitlement. It is outward focus, others-promotion, attention deflection, and advocating privilege for someone who deserves credit.
Who Will You Thank Today?
So how about it. Who will you thank today? Be quick to do it. It might not be that hard. 🙂 And as we come up on the Thanksgiving season, perhaps this is something you could do as a family.
I want to have as a goal for every day that I have left to live that I would daily find someone to encourage. Maybe it would be a simple “thank you” for doing that. Maybe a text. Maybe a big smile. Maybe a written note. Maybe something I bake or buy.
It is important to remember that I thank God for that person and then express my thanks to the person. God is sovereignly behind every good and perfect gift.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”James 1:17
The beautiful repercussion of being quick to thank, is that you start being more th(i)nkful. It just happens automatically. You think thanks!