I’ve had a few management interviews at Amazon where I work. One of the standard questions asked in the process goes something like this:
How do you handle stress in your life or keep from being negative?
I use this occasion to tell them about my faith in God and how an attitude of thanksgiving is something our household strives to uphold daily. I tell them about the “Thanksgiving Tree” we made which hangs on our wall, comprised of cut-out hands of each family member where the fingers (which look like a turkey) are filled in with things for which we are each thankful. I tell them how each night before bed we go around the family and share a praise – something to give God thanks over – before we pray.
Thankfully, thanksgiving and praise has become a cornerstone of our home.
And it’s a good thing, too. Paul says in his first chapter to the Romans that there are many who know God, but because “they did not honor him as God or give thanks to Him” they became “futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom. 1:21).
A thankless home and heart will eventually become a dark one.
When I am short on my thank-list or feeling down I recall a sermon I heard by Doug Detert while at Pure Life on gratitude. He said there are 4 things we can always be thankful for and if we make it a habit to give thanks for these 4 things we will soon find our spirits lifted. Those things are:
1. Our Father in Heaven who is good, and loves me.
2. The blood of Jesus Christ which bought me.
3. The gift of the Holy Spirit who is changing me.
4. And the creative Word of God, which makes something new out of what was not there before.
These truths are unchanging, despite our circumstances. We can always be thankful for these four things. I have found that when I meditate on these I am strengthened, and the “lusts of this world” lose their hold on me.
Thanks be to God.