Naked thanks!

There are no two words I love to hear more than—"thank you".  Our culture seems to take so much for granted and some never use those two words.  So many people have the mentality that they are entitled to certain things and so thank you are not words that readily flow from their lips.

I love it when I hear my two grandchildren say 'thank you' to the person who brings them their food at the restaurant, 'thank you' to the person who gives them help when they need it, and 'thank you' to me when I give them their early morning cup of tea.  Those two little words can warm your heart.  I am also certain that they warm the heart of God.  The truth is we can sometimes say "thank you" and still be bereft of an attitude of gratitude. 

There is a discipline to living with an attitude of thanksgiving. When we wake up in the morning is our heart filled with gratitude for what we have or are we thinking about all the things we want and don't have?  The first words on our lips should be, "Thank you Lord for a new day!"

There can never be gratitude in our hearts when we compare and compete.  When we constantly measure our lives against someone else we are in danger of competing with them.  We wonder why we don't have what they have.  Perhaps it is because we haven't worked as hard or as long as they have.  Or maybe it is because they have a skill set that enables them to earn more money than we do.  Whatever the reason is, it never helps to compare ourselves with others.  We should be grateful for what we have. 

There can never be genuine peace without a spirit of gratitude.  Until we become satisfied with our lot in life we will never have the peace that Jesus offers.  Jesus said, "My peace I leave with you, not as the world gives..."  In other words, the peace that Jesus gives is not based on the peace the world has.  Some people feel a sense of peace when their bank account is full or when they have all the fine things in life.  The peace Jesus talks about is a peace that comes from finding our satisfaction in Him, not in things!  Be grateful that you woke up this morning—you have family and friends—you have a clear mind, and you could choose what clothes to wear and what food to eat.  Many people around the world cannot make those simple choices because they only have one set of clothes and one meal to eat.  Now doesn't that put your life in perspective?

There will never be enough without a spirit of gratitude.  The sad thing is that when we do not have a spirit of gratitude we never have enough.  There are two ways this works.  The first one is, that some people just want more and more and they are never satisfied even when they have what they previously desired.  They will never be satisfied even if they have millions of dollars.

The other way is just as telling.  There are people who want but they will never have because they do not know how to be grateful for the little things in life.  They think the world owes them and they think people owe them.  This is called an entitlement mentality and it stinks!  Yes, you heard me, it stinks! 

There will never be provision unless we learn to share.  I remember someone saying to me, "I would give so much money away if I had it."  I wish I had the courage to answer, "You will never have unless you learn to share the little that you do have." 

When we think we are poor, let me say that by the majority of the worlds standards our poverty is great riches. 

So my friends let our hearts be filled with 'naked thanks.'  The kind of thanks that does not demand anything but is grateful for everything.  The kind of naked thanks that does not compare with others but is thankful for the provision we have right now.  The kind of naked thanks that makes you get up in the morning and shout out, "Thank You, I am alive, another day to live, to see a sunrise, to smell a rose, to taste coffee, to breathe deeply, and to love my beautiful, generous, faithful God."

I am and always will be,

recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,

Carol