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A Discipline Called Thankfulness  

If you are a little child visiting our home, you can expect a warm welcome and a horsey ride. We will gladly sit down and play your favorite game or laugh at your favorite joke. Truthfully, you can probably even expect a yes to your snack request.

As I often explain to friends, it's not that we never say no, it's just that we work real hard to say yes! But there are a few things we will not tolerate: children who refuse to say please and thank you.

We demand it. Insist on it. In our experience, unless you do, you end up with ungrateful brats. Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true.

Thankfulness doesn’t just happen. It’s not like the flu—some get it, and some don’t. Honestly, thankfulness is a choice, a discipline.

No one becomes thankful by accident. It takes training. It's a commitment.

Thankfulness is not a mystical cloud that settles over us once enough good things come our way. It's a decision we make a hundred times a day, a learned skill that comes only with practice!

So, if you ask for a piece of pumpkin pie while seated at our table, your request had better come wrapped up in a "please."  Otherwise, you'll be told, "I don't think I heard you." And when someone passes you the whipped cream, we'll wait to hear a thank you. Or remind you if you forget.

Why the tough-guy approach to thankfulness? Because it’s that important to God. He commands it no less than 44 times in Scripture.

Enough said, I hope. But since it’s Thanksgiving, could I please ask you to pass the pumpkin pie—and the whipped cream? Thank you!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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