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How to have overflow of thanksgiving in our lives

Unsplash/Simon Maage
Unsplash/Simon Maage

"But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. He fell facedown at His feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan" (Luke 17:15-16). 

After every practice and every game, Jessie would approach me before leaving the field and utter one small but powerful sentence: “Thank you, coach!” During the entire two years, she played on our high school girls’ lacrosse team, she never missed a single day of saying those three powerful words. Jessie understood the value of gratitude, and she wanted to make sure I knew that she did not take a single practice or game for granted. Jessie not only had an attitude of thanksgiving, but she also put it into action.

In Luke 17, out of the 10 lepers healed by Jesus, only one man scrambled back to say thanks. I am sure that the other nine had an attitude of thanksgiving but never applied their gratitude. The power of saying thanks is a simple thing, but hard to do. A friend of mine says that unexpressed gratitude can often be interpreted as being unthankful. Sometimes it can even be viewed as arrogance or ignorance!

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Thanksgiving should be the theme song for followers of Christ. We should have thanksgiving flowing from our lips daily. The people we connect with should be soaked with thanks because we are overflowing with gratitude. Paul reminds us in Colossians 2:6-7 that thankfulness overflows if we have deep roots in Jesus Christ and if our lives our built on Him.

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6-7). 

Is it any wonder thankfulness is in short supply? If we are over-full with God, then we overflow with thanksgiving. Otherwise, we are just selfish and stingy. Unfortunately, there isn’t a culture of thanksgiving in places that should be filled with gratitude: families, businesses, churches and teams.

Every day is Thanksgiving for the Christian

I have to admit that I am great at thanking God for the people in my life during prayer time, but I'm not very good at putting that attitude of gratitude into action. I often fail to overflow with words of thanksgiving to others. My attitude is good, but my action is lacking.

When we overflow with thankfulness, it shows in everything: speech, attitude and actions. We are first thankful to God and then thankful for our family, teammates, job, church, friends, coaches, neighbors, and even our boss. We are even thankful for the tough times, because as Romans 5:3 states, “We also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know afflictions produce endurance.”

Pray it, but make sure you say it! No more withholding blessing and thanksgiving from those who deserve it. What are you waiting for? This Thanksgiving make sure you tell others how grateful you are for them. Thanksgiving is powerful, but remember the power is in the action. Pray it. Show it. Say it.

Dan Britton is a speaker, writer, coach and trainer who serves as the Chief Field Officer with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and leads thousands of staff in over 100 countries. Britton played professional lacrosse with the Baltimore Thunder and has coauthored seven books, including: One Word, WisdomWalks, and Called to Greatness. He is a frequent speaker for companies, nonprofits, sports teams, schools and churches.

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