Thanksgiving is this month and everyone is gearing up for gluttony. I am ready to watch football, eat food, and spend time with family. Some rest and time off of work during a very busy season is also much appreciated.
If you use Facebook, you will notice some people have been posting what they are thankful for. While it is important to post our thankfulness; we need to take a tough look at what being thankful is NOT.
—Being thankful is NOT about comparing your blessings to someone else.
“Thank God I have a better job than (insert name).”
“Thank God that I can stay home with my children while that other mother works full-time.”
“I am thankful that I got a huge bonus while (insert name) received no bonus.”
Maybe you do have a better job than someone, but that is no reason to brag. Perhaps you received your job because you knew someone at that company. Whether you stay home with your children or work full time, that is really no one’s business except you and your spouse. As far as receiving fat bonuses at work, what did you do to get that big bonus? Did you earn it with hard work and integrity or did you manipulate others to get what you desired?
—Being thankful is NOT about basking in your blessings and doing nothing about it.
If you read the Bible, you will see several verses where it mentions wealth and poverty. One correlation that commonly occurs is a character (in the Bible) will have accumulated massive wealth and God (or Jesus) wants them to simply “follow God.” The wealthy person cringes and chooses not to follow God because they would rather swim in their possessions than give anything to others, including God.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I challenge you to think about your blessings. Is there someone who could benefit from something in your home that you don’t use — or heaven forbid — need? Is there someone you know at work, church, or in your community who needs to be blessed with food, clothing, or maybe a gift of a listening ear and open heart?
—Being thankful is NOT about being a JERK.
It is sad that I have to state the obvious here. Being THANKFUL is NOT about being a JERK. If you are wealthy, do something with your money other than spending it on yourself. If you don’t think that you are wealthy, think about the people that you come into contact with every day. If you hang out with all doctors and CEOs, you are probably doing well compared to many in your community. You don’t have to be a millionaire to be “well off.”
Being thankful is acknowledging your blessings. This is where we need to be careful because we need to know WHERE that blessing came from. Maybe God blessed you with that particular job or spouse. Maybe God worked things out with the paperwork so you could get into that house you have saved for. Maybe God healed that relationship that needed mending. Maybe God also subtracted people from your life who were toxic or blocking you from reaching your God-given potential.
God made you.
God blessed you.
Don’t be a jerk.
Actually, don’t be a thankless jerk either.
Copyright 2017 Jason Weirich