Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Make Thanksgiving A Lifestyle At Your House

I talk with people every week who are hurting because of their illness, relationship struggles, grief, finances or a host of other things. And I know those hurts are very real and are certainly understandable.

I do my best to help encourage them and give them practical suggestions on how to walk through their struggle, make necessary changes and heal from their pain. We often go beneath the surface to find unhealthy behaviors and thinking that may be adding to their challenges.

However, one of the common inhibitors of growth I see in them all and in myself from time to time is a lack of gratitude. They don't find anything to be thankful for. They've put on blinders so to speak and can't see how they might still be blessed in some ways in spite of their difficult times.

As a result they tend to walk down the path to more discouragement, bitterness and emotional paralysis. If they could only begin to think bigger than their own circumstances and in the middle of their moving forward stay thankful.

One way to assure that people remain thankful at your house is to make gratitude more of an attitude. How?

First, model it. When you pray, especially with others, include praise and thanks, not just requests. Talk about things you're thankful for at the dinner table, when you're having fun and even working.

Second, practice it. Have some sharing times with the kids where you all talk about something you're thankful for that day or week. Talk about the little things, perhaps things that everybody else wouldn't necessarily think of.

Third, teach it. Scripture is filled with passages that speak about the power and place of thanksgiving. I Thessalonians 5:17 says, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

I am confident that many of the people who come to see me in pain would find their journey made easier and heal more quickly when they focus more on being thankful. In fact, some of the greatest healing comes when hurting people start giving to others even through their pain. And they won't start investing in others if they remain bitter and angry rather than thankful.

So perhaps this Thanksgiving holiday could be the beginning of a new era of thanks in your home all year round. And perhaps you're the person to get it started. Happy Thanksgiving.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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