When your kids were young, I am certain that you taught them to say please and thank-you like I did. I meet kids in various social strata and most have at least that drummed into them. The question is, do our kids understand that the Bible tells us to be thankful for everything, both good and bad? This is a legacy that can change the world!
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
The reason this is so very important is that gratitude can change your attitude. It starts with the recognition that:
- Every good thing comes from God and God never stops giving. James 1:17 makes that clear and takes away our pride for thinking we did something significant: secured the promotion, car, job, child or whatever we have taken the credit for. Can you see how changing the attitude that all things that are good come from God can make a world of difference in our attitude and pridefulness?
- I should not let what I don’t have discourage me from what I do have. You see, gratitude turns what we have into enough. Solomon, who was acclaimed as the wisest man alive both in the past and today, said at the end of his life:
“Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless a chasing after the wind.”
Truly it is God’s love for you that defines you, not your job, possessions, family or anything that this world has.
- Turn every blessing into praise. Remember that any blessing you don’t turn into praise will eventually become pride or entitlement. The Bible also tells us that the opposite of a blessing is a curse. We need to recognize that all that God does that is good is His way of blessing us and showing His delight in us. The key is to recognize it as a blessing or you can turn it into a curse.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Praise always begins with thankfulness. My pastor, Michael, recently told a story of going to a restaurant with his two kids when they were 3 and 1. It was a nightmare! His 3-year-old son screamed the entire time he was in the restaurant and threw a fork that hit a woman in the head. It was in this moment that he had second thoughts about his son. Well, as he was about to leave the restaurant and was paying the bill in the lobby, he and his wife realized his son was nowhere to be found. His son had a habit of darting into streets, particularly when there was traffic. So Michael panicked because there was a major highway in front of the restaurant. He ran out the door and saw his son about to dart into the street in front of a huge truck. He caught him just in time. Michael said that despite the awful behavior in the restaurant, in that moment, he could not think of a time that he was more loving and appreciative of his son.
I think in that moment Michael could see what God meant by being appreciative in all things and began to praise God while hugging and kissing his son. There is no greater lesson we can teach our kids than how to be grateful for all. In fact, God goes one step further and tells us to be grateful for even the things that are not so good. Why? Because everything that God brings us has a purpose and the principle purpose is to bring us back to Him and to always lean on Him for everything. Makes life more bearable and frankly, a joy.
Download The Master’s Plan!
This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come. It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.