A thankful heart can be the antidote to a multitude of sinful behaviors and attitudes. A truly thankful heart offers thanks to God for all of his good gifts. But a thankful heart does not merely thank God for the good things we have, but thanks God for God.
Psalm 100 teaches us by example what thanksgiving sounds like. What is interesting is the psalmist does not thank God for any thing. He does not thank God for good health, wealth or a good life. There is no mention of any material thing. Yet it is still a song of thanksgiving because he thanks God for his goodness, his love, and his faithfulness. In other words, the psalmist thanks God for being the kind of God that he is. This kind of thanksgiving is characterized by:
- Consistency. It is a more stable kind of gratitude. It does not fluctuate with changes in our circumstances, and may even grow stronger when we experience trials and difficulties. God and his character never change, so we can always be thankful for his love and kindness toward us no matter what circumstances we find ourselves.
- God Focused. This kind of thankfulness orients our hearts on God- his character and his ways. It places at the forefront his love, grace, mercy, compassion and righteousness.
As we approach Thanksgiving, make opportunities to talk about true thankfulness with your children. Talk about the things you are thankful for and connect those things back to God and his goodness and love. When you talk to your children about thankfulness, place the emphasis on God’s character and attributes rather than the stuff they have. For example, instead of being thankful for food, teach them to be thankful for God who provides all that we need. Teach your children how to offer thanks to God in their prayers. Use the words of Psalm 100, for example, as a model of a prayer of thankfulness. What better prayer than one inspired by the Holy Spirit!
— Drew Phillips, Chaplain
Covenant Classical Schools & Daycare
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