Negative Th(i)nkful


This is Pastor Dennis.  He was our co-worker in Johannesburg, SA.  He would often start our worship services at Sandton Bible with the question of: “Aren’t you thankful that you didn’t wake up in the hospital this morning?”

“A help toward personally fulfilling Eph. 5:20 & I Thess. 5:18 may be to continually thank God for all the things that could have gone wrong AND DID NOT; and, for all the things that went well BUT COULD HAVE GONE BADLY’!!! Examples- 1) how many things could have kept us from waking up this morning (countless)? 2) when driving on a 2 lane road and a car safely passes by in the opposing lane – it could have veered into our lane!” – Bob Meyers

There is no end to what we can think thanks about in our lives. When you think thanks about all the bad things that could have happened, but didn’t, you are practicing being negative th(i)nkful.  You could have been in a car wreck on your way to work this morning.  You could have a sore in your mouth that will not heal.  You could have severe abdominal pain right now.  You could have never heard about Jesus and the grace that He offers to anyone who wants to believe.  You could have nothing to live for and be looking for a way to die. You could not have access to the Word of God. You could have been born into extreme poverty.  The list goes on and on.

Think of five things that you are so thankful for that are not true in your life right now. Give that present of thanks to the One who deserves it.

Dennis Chapmon was the eternal optimist.  How inspiring he was to be around.  Yes, I am so thankful that I didn’t wake up in the hospital this morning.  Thank you God, that though Your ways are always good, you chose an easier path for me today in so many ways.


3 thoughts on “Negative Th(i)nkful

  1. I’m not really fond of this way of thinking. I know people who are stuck in this rut and their lives are consumed with focusing on things that aren’t true (always considering the “what-ifs” and “maybe”s).

    It tends to lead one’s thought patterns to anxiety and despair as they don’t focus on truth or what is REAL in their lives (Phil 4:8).

    Observing suffering up close with our family in Christ does propel us to be more grateful for things like good health and relationships in our lives, and that’s a healthy propulsion into gratefulness!

    Please don’t let this comment discourage you! Just a different perspective. 🙂


    • Rachael, interesting point. I agree that just focusing on “what if’s” could perhaps turn to a negative side, but the beauty in this post is more to focus on noticing how many positive things we have around us that we take for granted.


  2. Great post! I’m wondering if the title “negative” may give an odd flavor to the habit. What if we called it “Inverse Th(i)nkful”? Or “Th(i)nkful Reverse” or something? Just a thought. 🙂 Love the practice though!

    Liked by 1 person

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