1. Being Th(i)nkful Helps Us Process Life
Here’s a processing tool. This is a picture of an IBM computer lab taken in 1957. The computer does its primary work in a part of the machine we cannot see, a control center that converts data input into information output. The computer is able to process information that has been entered into its memory bank. How far we have come from these huge machines to our I-phones processing info right in our hands.
Th(i)nkful is a processing adjective. It describes a person who is processing things happening around them, in them, and to them, taking the input and converting it to gratitude.
Th(i)nkful (adj): choosing to download grace/strength from the Lord to think thanks about every circumstance in my life and to express that thanks orally or in written form.
We process all the time. Mostly it happens automatically, the brain repeating the same neural pathway that we have taught it to do over and over again. Being th(i)nkful is choosing to process life differently. That takes effort; it moves us out of our comfort zone. It is hardest at first, just like blazing a new trail through the woods or forming any good habit, but with repetition, it becomes easier.
2. Being Th(i)nkful Breeds Inspiration
Inspiration has to do with being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. I have received inspiration from hearing how other people did something. I have a friend who is always reaching out to her neighbors with brownies, building relationships. When I hear about her doing that, it inspires me to do likewise.
Taking the mental effort to think thanks about what is going on in my life and expressing that can be very inspiring to others. They may feel an urge to also be th(i)nkful about their circumstances. An added benefit is that if you write down your expressions of gratitude in a journal, you can inspire even yourself years later as you reread those pages.
3. Being Th(i)nkful Is Obedience
The Bible is full of exhortations to be thankful. I Thessalonians 5:18 spells it out starkly: In all circumstances give thanks. Both Ephesians and Colossians, the Twin Epistles, give specific commands to be thankful. Colossians has a verse in each of its four chapters dealing with being thankful and in the third chapter there are three verses in a row that urge the reader to be thankful.
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Have you ever taken a dog to obedience school? It is pretty tricky to teach obedience to a dog. In training, you give them a series of tests to see whether they will overcome, still obey, and do what they’ve learned. If successful, you will enjoy the company of your canine to an even higher degree. When we learn obedience, just like our four-legged friends, we become a joy to our Father.
If we love the Lord, He says we will obey His commandments from the heart. The commands of Christ were given by Him as our Creator for our benefit, to keep us from scars and destruction, and to push us toward a flourishing life. And He sends tests to see whether we will still obey, and with the tests He makes His grace downloadable. Thankfulness in the good times is easy; thankfulness amid the dark wind and waves is altogether different. We should obey, but in our obedience is also our overcoming.
So….there you have it! 3 blessings that come from being th(i)nkful:
- It helps us process life
- It serves as an inspiration to others as well as to ourselves
- It honors God by simply obeying