Feelings of disappointment flooded me, as I came out of my visit with a second podiatrist for help with a heel malady that hasn’t resolved itself since beginning earlier this year. Even though I liked and interacted with this podiatrist better than the previous one, the appointment hadn’t met my expectations. I expressed those thoughts to Steve and then dwelt on them in my mind.
Steve encouraged me that Scripture (Psalm 37:8) says that fretting doesn’t lead to good outcomes. It is true. Through my reactions and thoughts, I was fretting and that was making me discouraged, glum, and unhappy. Not the emotions I wanted to carry through the day.
In a recent morning Bible time, I read, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15 ) and was pondering using it as the theme for a November Mom’s Corner, since this is Thanksgiving month. I hadn’t planned to be a poor example of it, though!
I have two verses memorized that also directed me with what to do rather than fret, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). And then there was this one, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
There are key words and phrases from these three verses that give us critical information for the path of thanksgiving:
- praise to God/unto God
- thanks to His name, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
- in every thing
- will of God
- always for all things
Why would thanking God be a sacrifice? Could it be because our flesh wants to do exactly what I did – dwell on the negative, allow disappointment to direct my thoughts, and fret? So to combat the flesh, we are to make the sacrifice of praising God. That is even defined in Hebrews 13:15 as our lips – speak it out loud – giving thanks to His name, continually. We choose to worship Him in thanksgiving rather than worshipping self in self pity.
Next we learn how often this thanksgiving is to happen – continually, in everything, always, and for all things. That is quite inclusive. It doesn’t give room for worry, fretting, complaining, or negativism. Thanksgiving and negative emotions don’t coexist well. Sometimes it is easy for us to forget that mindset of continual thanksgiving and to move into critical words and thoughts. Perhaps those kinds of wrong thoughts and words, should remind us that we aren’t giving thanks, continually for all things in God’s name. Then we can repent and go back to those right and godly thoughts.