Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thank Therapy

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.    1 Thessalonians 5:18

Before we go one sentence further in this Gmail, let me offer you this word of thanks. I am sincerely grateful to serve on the pastoral staff of PCC, both because of who I get to serve with and who I get to serve.  This year, PCC’s 60th, has been a defining year in many ways for us as a church and through it all, I have witnessed the most beautiful expression of the body of Christ ever! So thank you!

That’s not all. I truly appreciate the fact that you're reading this Gmail right now...because the fact that you are indicates that you long to be encouraged to grow more like Christ. So, before going any further, I want to say, "Thank you."

Now, I ask you, how hard was that? It wasn't difficult engaging in a bit of what one of my mentors calls "Thank Therapy" with me here, was it? It took all of, what, a minute to do? And, everyone likes to receive a well-placed "thank you." It felt just as good to me, to give one! Tragically, however, we live in a culture where the art of thankfulness is a dying breed. (And common courtesy, common decency and common sense are all on the fast track of extinction.)

Over and over again, Scripture tells us to be thankful people. It's impossible to read the Psalms and not be affected by the theme of "thankfulness" running through the pages of this great Hebrew hymnal. Now, the good majority of these psalms were written during seasons of great duress...which is why it's worth noting that thankfulness is a choice, an attitude and a discipline. You don't have to feel grateful to be thankful. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the Apostle Paul tells us what God's will is for our lives. He says we should be thankful in all situations. Notice that the verse here does not say to be thankful for all situations. How ridiculous to be thankful for a negative problem!

One of the best ways I know to start developing this "good habit" is to utilize Thank Therapy. It puts into practice Paul's command to "be thankful in all situations." Thank Therapy is developing the discipline to be consistently thankful in all situations.

As you engage in Thank Therapy on a regular basis, you'll become more aware the source of your thanksgiving—your love for Jesus Christ. Remembering what He has already done for you, great things will begin to develop in your spirit. It's a great exercise for the whole family not just during the Thanksgiving season, but even when the Facebook craze dies down, I pray we daily engage in an attitude of gratitude!

I look forward to being with many of you tomorrow at our Thanksgiving Outreach.  This Sunday, we will focus the service around Thanksgiving. Come grateful and expectant to meet God and engage with others. 

I not only love being your Pastor, I am also so thankful for the opportunity!