12 October 2012

Changed Through Gratitude

“and overflowing with thankfulness”
Colossians 2:6 (NIV UK)

Being thankful changes relationships and behaviour. It changes us. 

I once worked for someone I did not like. In my mind he was loud and obnoxious. Things changed when he was unexpectedly kind to me. I won’t go into the details here, but his thoughtful gesture helped me hugely just when I needed some encouragement. I was grateful to him, and began to talk with him more. Our personal and working relationship improved. In hindsight, I began to work a little harder. In addition, the healing of my attitude probably made me more mellow at home, and I was more relaxed with my family.

Paul reminded the Colossians about how being rooted in Jesus leads to “overflowing with thankfulness”. Elsewhere he explained how the grace of Jesus “may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:15). The idea is thankfulness bubbles up like a spring of water and everything around gets affected. Our gushing gratitude changes the environment around us. Above all, it changes us. We become gentler in our approach. We tend to say more positive than negative things when we express appreciation. We smile more. We give more because we have received. We just may be more pleasant to be around. 

Being thankful has unintended and unexpected consequences for the good of all. Don’t hold back in saying “thank you” to God and to others. Let your appreciation be known. Wouldn’t it be something to have a reputation for being gracious and thankful?

When we overflow with thankfulness, our world becomes a better place. 

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). 

Help me, Father, through the abundance of your Spirit, to overflow with thankfulness to you and to others around me. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

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