There is a lot that happens in this world “in the name of Jesus” and it’s hard to know for sure whether Jesus is really in these things sometimes, which is why I think the last part of the verse above is so crucial. Doesn’t it change our perspective on what we’re doing if we’re being thankful in the process? And if we can’t be thankful…
People sometimes say, “If you can’t have fun, don’t go.” Maybe we could also say, “If you can’t be thankful, don’t do it.”
I wonder if the reason being thankful is so effective at changing our perspectives is that being thankful really requires being thoughtful. You can’t be thankful if you aren’t thinking about being thankful. Paul told the Thessalonians to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:16-18) and maybe the reason those are altogether in one sentence is that they cause each other. Being thankful becomes a prayer, and a thankful prayer brings joy. And if we are doing everything thankfully, then we are being thankful in all circumstances, which then means we are also praying continually, and hopefully also finding more joy.
What if we did everything thankfully all year long? I wonder what that would look like? I wonder what that would feel like?
Let’s give it a try and find out!