Are You Reaping Thankfulness in Your Life
by Chaplain Dan Langerock
The idea of reaping is an old farming term meaning that you harvest what you have planted earlier. If you had sowed wheat then that is what you would get later on. The same is true in our lives. Perhaps we spend most of our existence not thinking about what we are planting: bitterness, unforgiveness, strife, love, kindness etc.--but all of a sudden those things begin showing up in our later lives and we wonder "Where did that come from?" Because we didn't think about what we were planting earlier, we end up with the same commodity in greater measure later on.
The Bible tells us that it is God who gives us the power to make wealth among other things, but usually we attribute this to ourselves. We may strut around saying, "Look what I accomplished in my life". Of course you had a choice in the matter as to what you did, but God blessed you so you could achieve it.
People develop bad habits for themselves: smoking, drinking, drugs, complaining and the like. Did you develop some good habits along the way as well, such as appreciation and thankfulness? Did you have a lifestyle of thankfulness or were you plodding along believing you did it all yourself?
People who are thankful and appreciative have less high blood pressure and other maladies. They take the time to be grateful for what they have received and it comes back to them in a medical manner. Just as unforgiveness causes stress, high blood pressure, and other things over time, the same is true for busyness without genuine thankfulness.
What if your life is coming toward its end? You can still work on being thankful rather than attributing it all to yourself. You can appreciate your spouse, friends, neighbors, children and others. It takes time to reverse your thinking but it can be done. Ask God to help you be thankful for the ones who love and care about you. Ask Him to show you the attitudes in your life that need to be corrected. Don't be so stubborn thinking you don't need to change. Even if you are moderately thankful, you can always increase it for your benefit and those around you.
How often have you told someone you loved them? Some would say, "I don't need to say it because they already know." Verbalize your love and affection in a sincere way even if you haven't been raised that way. Just because you weren't told this statement or others like it doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Break that bad mold that was set in place over your past and start a new tradition of being thankful and telling others about it.
If you think about it, when something bad happens to you, the phone lines were buzzing with what happened. Why not use the same amount of energy to tell what you are thankful for? Wouldn't you rather be around someone who is thankful rather than complaining? I would! Just as complaining and discontent breeds more of the same, so does thankfulness. When you tell others about your thankfulness list, it will get them thinking about their own and you will have a great time remembering what you are both thankful for.
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step". Maybe you haven't been a thankful person, perhaps even quite the opposite. But you are the one who must change that if it is going to be changed. Think about how you will be remembered someday. Is it the way you have been as a person? The more you practice appreciating others, the easier it will be for you to continue. Make thankfulness a continuing good habit of your life and remember that God loves you very deeply. He also deserves your praise. He knows what is in your heart. Will He find thankfulness there?
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