Identify: Say It Feel It

” . . . And be thankful. . . . with gratitude in your hearts to God. . . . giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:15-17)

Yes, that’s a lot of ellipses in that verse up there. Actually, that’s how each of the three verses we studied during the last three days end: “be thankful,” “with gratitude in your hearts,” and “giving thanks.”

identify_350Is Paul being redundant? Did he get lazy and just decide to end three verses in a row in the same way? Doubtful. Taking on the identity of Christ must have a lot to do with being thankful people. In fact, saying thanks and feeling grateful must be one of the most important parts of being Jesus’ hands and feet in our own lives.

Being a grateful person requires at least three things: Discipline, humility, and the ability to enjoy. It takes discipline because we’re not naturally thankful people; we’ve got to give thanks on purpose and on a plan. It takes humility because saying thanks to God is admitting that he gave something to us and that we didn’t do it ourselves.

And it takes the ability to enjoy good gifts in order to feel thankful. That’s harder than it looks on soda commercials. Many of us take good gifts for granted or simply collect them and immediately start looking for the next one. Enjoying the gift in front of you requires that you stop wanting something else for a few minutes.

Think: What makes it hard for you to say thanks or to feel grateful in your heart? What makes it easier? What plan could you make to tell God thanks on purpose three times a day every day for this next week (not counting meals)?

Pray: Ask God to help you to give him thanks, to have gratitude in your heart toward him, and to give thanks to him in the name of Jesus.

Do: Start of a list of good gifts you’re thankful for and add five things to it every day for the next week.