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How to Develop a Lifestyle of Thanksgiving That Outlives the Holiday

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by Cheryl Brodersen

How to Develop a Lifestyle of Thanksgiving That Outlives the Holiday

There is no difficulty in finding things to gripe and complain about. Have you noticed? However, it takes a transformed perspective, an act of the will and practice to see and commend "the good and excellent" (Romans 12:2). We tend to ignore, neglect, pass over or be quiet about the things that are good. At the same time, we are quite vocal about the hard, uncomfortable, distasteful, dirty and “needs improving” things in our lives.

We need to practice a new perspective.

Obviously, to practice a new perspective, we need a new perspective, much like Elisha's servant did. The story is told in 2 Kings 6:8-23. Elisha's servant was concerned and worried one morning when he awoke to see the prophet's house surrounded by enemy forces. Elisha was unfazed and prayed for his servant, "LORD, please open his eyes, and let him see." When the servant looked again, he saw that the enemy was surrounded on all sides by horses and chariots of fire. The enemy was temporarily blinded and routed to the King of Israel. Once the servant received his divine perspective, he no longer complained about the enemy. Isn't this the perspective we all want and long for? Well, let's begin by praying for this!

Next, we need to start to look for things to be thankful for.

That means we must make a choice to see the good. The "good" is there in every place; it is just a matter of finding it. No wonder the apostle Paul exhorts us, "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Our transformed perspective will find those "good" things.

Once we find the good, it is time to vocalize our thanksgiving. It's important to put it into words. Obviously, our thanksgiving begins with God, who has made "every good gift" (James 1:17). From there, we need to thank others around us who are doing "good" or have participated in bringing out the "good" that God has intended.

The more we practice thanksgiving, the more it becomes part of our lifestyle.

Personally, I prefer to be around thankful people. They have a way of making me aware not only of all the "good" in my life, but also the faithfulness of God, and particularly, His constant goodness.

So let's extend our thankful attitudes beyond Thanksgiving Day. Let's ask God to make us His thankful people who practice the divine activity of giving thanks always!