Thanks 4

So much of our culture runs on the desire and addiction for  bigger, better, faster, more, more, more of everything. We want, want, want…   the nicest house, car, laptop, outfit, smart phone, etc. etc. etc.

Many people WANT WANT WANT so bad that they are willing to lie, cheat, steal. Many people get jealous enough to backbite, curse, and cuss.

All of this works together to give us a culture in which we forget to be thankful and kind…   and dare not be loving and peaceful.

Paul, in his letter to the faithful folks at Ephesus kept telling them NOT to act like the culture around them. Paul kept telling them NOT to buy into the greed and lies and junk…   because that stuff ruins people. I’m sure he would say the same stuff to us today. The good news is that we can choose another way. We can choose to be loving and kind even though everyone around us is selfish. We can choose to show thankfulness rather and want, want, want. We can choose to be peacemakers rather than jealous backbiters. And when we come together as a group or community around these God-given principles, Paul says:

Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving.

Let’s give ourselves this great gift of shifting focus and priority this Holiday Season and the coming year. Let’s start today!

Read this passage of Scripture from ‘The Message’ Translation of the Bible (Romans 13:11-14):

But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

What is one way you can shift from want to thankfulness this season? What is one way you can shift from busy-ness and stress to hope?

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