Authenticity: Real Faith in a Phony, Superficial World
I hope you will read it prayerfully and allow God to speak to your heart through it. I'll tell you how to contact Chad at the end.
“The Thankfulness Commandments” by
One of the clearest things God has been teaching me this past year is to be thankful. In the past, I have struggled with cynicism and being critical of other people (putting them down so I can feel better about myself), but thankfulness has become one of my most prized tools in the battle against a critical spirit.
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 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. 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.” (Colossians 3:15-17, NIV)
I call these three verses “the Thankfulness Commandments” as they can be summed up by the following three commands: Be thankful (verse 15). Be thankful (verse 16). Be thankful (verse 17). Three times Paul repeats this command.
This passage in Colossians led me to form a habit, radically changing my life. As soon as I open my eyes each morning, I begin thanking God for his grace, his goodness, and for allowing me to live. I then go and spend some time with the Lord, reading His word and praying with a thankful heart. Expressing my gratitude to the Lord has helped me to be less critical, and it has also helped me to be steadfast when I face trials. Earlier this year, I tore the ACL ligament in my knee while helping a friend move into an apartment. This wasn’t my first knee injury. With previous injuries, it took me weeks to get over the frustration I felt. This time, amazingly, my first thought was, “Thy will be done, Lord! If this is the trial you have for me this year, I’m ready for it. Blessed be your name.” I know this attitude is the fruit of the Lord working in my life and cultivating a thankful spirit in me.
How often do you thank God for things in your life? Just before you eat at lunch or dinner? Only when you pray with others? Spend some time today thanking God. If you have trouble, try writing down a list of 100 things you are thankful for as quickly as you can (it only takes a few minutes). Try it! Your list may include big things like “my family” or things we take for granted like “my washing machine is working.” This exercise will help you to see that God has indeed blessed us, and we have a lot of reasons to feel thankful. If you have recently had a critical heart, confess your sin to God and ask him to transform you into a thankful person.
Spend time today thanking the Lord for all He has provided and done for you. Watch and see how life-changing it can be when we have a thankful spirit!
****The “Thankfulness Commandments” are taken from Chad Young’s new book, Authenticity: Real Faith in a Phony, Superficial World, available at Amazon. If you'd like to read more about Chad and his ministry just click here Chad Young.
Thank you Chad, for sharing from your heart.
Your turn: How has being thankful changed your attitude and your life? How do you remind yourself to be thankful in all things? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.