HOPE in the Freeze: Thanksgiving
Gratitude changes your relationships . . .
Sunday, Lead Pastor Isaac said,
“ . . . thanksgiving staves off the contempt that wants to overtake me.”Isaac Hovet
All relationships are dynamic; in that, all relationships are either moving towards intimacy, trust, and love or they are moving away from intimacy, trust and love. Relationships are not static. Contempt is always a close grab for those closest to us. “They always” and “they never” becomes the currency of a frustrated relationship. It’s important for us to remember the value of relationships. One day, Jesus was in the temple when an expert in religious law asked him a question,
36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “ ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:36–40 (NLT)
The way in which we hold others in our mind and heart is equally as important as how we hold God.
On another occasion, another scribe, trying to justify himself asked, “Well then, WHO is my neighbor” (Chris Bowlby paraphrase of Luke 10:29)? Jesus responds by telling those listening the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Your neighbor is everyone; more specifically your neighbor is the one you hope is not your neighbor. Your neighbor is your spouse that is frustrating you. Your neighbor is your in-laws that won’t stay out of your business. Your neighbor is your mom or dad that won’t let you live your life. Your neighbor is your boss that refuses to recognize your hard work. Your neighbor is your child that refuses to listen.
It would be easy to move towards contempt for these frustrated relationships, but an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving staves off the tool of the enemy – contempt. Like drops of chlorine in a pool, gratitude removes the impurities that sully the water of our souls. Today take some time to meditate on these questions:
- What is your most frustrated relationship?
- What could God do in your heart through this frustrating relationship?
- What are three things you are thankful for in relation to this person/relationship?