“And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:15-17
Greetings fellow sojourners! When you woke this morning if someone told you you could choose which attitude to have that day ~ bitterness or thankfulness what would you have chosen? Do you think anyone would intentionally choose bitterness if asked that question? Yet it is chosen often. If we are bitter it is because we are lazily believing the enemy’s lies. Bitterness is anger and frustration ‘matured’. Have you ever tasted a bitter fruit? Eaten the bitter part of a pecan? It is far from pleasing and doubtful you will willingly return to it again; you may even go so far as to permanently avoid the experience.
There may be areas in your significant relationships that you feel are lacking important components. Do not, however, allow those disappointments to cast shadows on the other blessings that person provides in the relationship – choose thankfulness instead. Do not allow the lack to have the power to diminish the blessing. It will minimize you and cause bitterness to flourish. Remember to allow the peace of the Messiah control your heart. Be thankful. Jesus can do the sublime with our hearts where we will never come close.
It is a lie that seeps from the pit of hell that tells us 1) I deserve to be bitter, 2) I can’t forgive _____________, 3) I can’t be happy because I do not have ____________________, 4) I can’t be happy because _____________ does/does not do _______________, 5) My lack of _______________ will always overshadow my ability to be thankful.
It is time to snap out of this haze we are in and choose to live INTENTIONALLY and FOCUSED. If you must, include in every hour the determined CHOICE to be thankful. What I think most of us do not fully comprehend is the attitude we currently have is BECAUSE WE CHOOSE to have it! It is based on a determination of OUR will. We must turn to God and His ALL-SURPASSING POWER and nail our unthankfulness to the Cross of Christ. Let’s think about this. If you yielded to your unbridled emotions how do you think your days would end? We restrain our emotions to some degree but not completely. We allow certain thoughts to pass through to our hearts and allow certain words and deeds to manifest. What if instead, we yielded ourselves COMPLETELY to the Spirit of the Living God He gave us SO THAT we manifested thankfulness? There is no doubt God gives us the grace to do so.
Thankfulness is the fruit of allowing God’s grace to permeate our heart, mind, and soul. That is a sweet fruit. A taste you desire to return to.
“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.” 2 Timothy 2:20 NIV
“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” 2 Timothy 2:20-21 ESV
Did you note the words in the two verses? Vessels of gold and silver exist for special or honorable use and vessels of wood and clay exist for common or dishonorable use. This is significant. Consider yourself a vessel. Your vessel can hold the love of God or the bitterness of man. Either way, when your vessel gets full (and it does) it WILL pour out. Do you find yourself pouring out your bitter frustrations (what is common/dishonorable) or do you find yourself pouring out God’s love (what is special and honorable)? Do these verses also bring to mind 1 Corinthians 3:12-13?
The continual rehearsal of our thoughts will either reinforce our bitterness or our thankfulness. Are you rehearsing bitter thoughts? Loving thoughts? The Bible tells us whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if there is any moral excellence, and if there is any praise…dwell on these things. (Phil 4:8) Dwelling on these things and not allowing our thoughts to turn to anger and frustration will allow thankfulness instead of bitterness to mature.
God uses people that are thankful. It is even said that doctors consider gratitude as the healthiest of all emotions because of its physical benefits. Every day you have the choice. Today will you choose a heart focused on thanksgiving or bitterness? What about tomorrow? Plan your decision in advance because you MUST live intentionally.
In His grace,