Positive Year-round!

Last week, thanksgiving was observed in North America; however, there is need to consider a spirit of gratitude on a year round basis. To me, I call this thanks living.
Gratitude - A State of Mind
The Apostle Paul enjoins us “to give thanks always.” What does that mean? Is one being called upon to give thanks under all circumstances? How can one be positive when he or she has been afflicted with pain as result of a murder of a promising son? How can a person be thankful when he or she has been made redundant, and Christmas is nearing? How can one be thankful when sickness and attending costs prevail? Notwithstanding the aforementioned, we can be grateful and positive!

Gratitude Does Not Condone Wrong Doing
Being thankful or positive is not akin to condoning wrongdoing when one displays gratitude under trying conditions. Gratitude does not mean that one will not experience pain as it is only human to do so. However, a spirit of gratitude teaches one to look for the good even in every negative case. Consider Paul who advocated thankfulness always. In the book Ephesians he is in prison, a place not known to be a pleasant and welcoming environment, nonetheless he describes it as being “in heavenly places.” It was not the place but the mindset adopted by the Apostle that made the difference. The same experience can be ours.

Life Is Not Always Predictable
Life does not offer a bed of roses, children without issues, spouse without fault, or perfect church members. Preachers, maids and mathematicians, athletes and astronauts -all have shortcomings, for they are all human. So the reality is that as long as we live with another person, we will have days of disappointments and frustration. It is possible that if you have not lost a relative, it is likely to happen, as death is real and part of our lot. So if I accept these realities of life –choosing not to dwell on the negatives- I am more likely to find the good all around and certainly in spouse, child, friend and colleagues. Whatever we look for we will find. It is said that gold miners in South Africa sift through tons of dirt to find precious diamonds, but some persons pass precious diamond looking for dirt.

Potential to Change
Change to positive thinking and action is possible in every situation, otherwise the Bible is a myth and Christians are mistaken. I choose to think positively, for within each person, even the ones creating havoc and instilling fear in our land, there is potential for good. It may require you or me to elevate the thinking of such persons to see their God-given potential as something for good. Each person is designed for greatness; as each has been entrusted with talents and abilities possibly untapped and yet to be recognized and cultivated. Christian writer Ellen White explains, “If human beings would open the windows of the soul heavenward, in appreciation of the divine gifts, a flood of healing virtue would pour in” {MH 116.1}. Additionally, White says, “Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise” {MH 251.1}.

This period of thanksgiving can translate into a daily and lasting experience when I begin to embrace a thankful disposition- choosing to look for the good in others and in me. Sometimes we can find it most difficult to forgive ourselves. Can you imagine what might happen if more persons would decide to be thankful and engage in thanks-living?

Thought to Ponder:
“I can live two months on one good compliment.” -Mark Twain