Summary: Rev. Fair speaks of the lessons of thankfullness, he reminds us of the words:“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but it is also the parent of all other virtues”.
TO BE MORE THOUGHTFUL IS TO BE MORE THANKFUL
Scripture: Psalm 100.
Some one has said “charity begins at home but it shouldn’t stop there. That saying might be changed to “Thanksgiving begins at home. but it shouldn’t end there.”
In one of our magazines is a story related by Doctor Earle of the Nazarene Church. He and his wife were guests for dinner at a friend’s home. The wife was a wonderful cook and the Earle’s
were loud in their praises of her cooking. But never a compliment came from the husband’s lips. One day Doctor Earle said to the man, “why don’t you ever tell your wife how much you enjoy her cooking?” The man’s answer was classic. He said “Aw she knows that if I wasn’t satisfied, I’d say something”. That philosophy of life is all too common even in Christian homes.
Too often we take for granted someone’s love, kindness, and devotion with never a word of thanks, but let the toast be burned, we grumble, groan, and gripe. Let me ask you a question, “How long has it been since you thanked your wife for the many things she does for you each day? Expressed gratitude is always up lifting, it may startle your wife if you would express some appreciation. There is a little story about a man who had awakened to the fact that he had never told his wife how much she meant to him, and decided to do better. When he came home he greeted her with a hug and a kiss. She began to cry. He said “What’s wrong dear?”. She said, “The minister is coming to dinner and you’ve come home intoxicated”.
How long has it been since you thanked God for three meals a day? Can you say, “Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits. A full table, a full stomach, three times a day with
snacks between meals”. Are these blessings taken as common place.
I once had a dear friend in Nogales, Mexico. He was the son of an Indian chief. One day I was complaining about my lot, and this man who had to support his family on nickels and dimes. This man had eaten more boiled cabbage than I had ever seen. This man who wore someone’s cast off clothing said to me, “Don’t worry, the Lord will take care of you”. I felt a deep sense of shame go over me, for this man’s relatives 200 miles to the south had much less than he did.
Seeing and knowing about the destitution of others should put more fervor into our daily thanksgiving.
How long since you thanked God for your home? There are millions of people who have no homes. In winter weather you find some of them in parks, some under the bridges, some in their cars, some in shelters with leaky roofs, some in the flop houses of our cities, where for a small sum they may be allowed to lie down on the floor. In Palestine the Arabs sleep eight people to a two man tent, yet we have 4 to 8 rooms for two people. Aren’t you the least bit grateful for that place of refuge called home? Where a world of strife is shut out, and a world of love shut in? Where the small are great and the great are small, where we grumble most and are treated best. Where our faults and failures are covered by a soft cover of love. Are we grateful for the blessings of home or do we forget? To be more thoughtful is to be more thankful.
Even in the National Thanksgiving Season many seldom thank God for any of the blessings they have received during the year.
The Pagan Cicero once said, “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but it is also the parent of all other virtues”. No life from which thanksgiving and appreciation are missing can be completely Christian. Stinginess is not a Christian tendency. We have formed the habit of thinking too much about hard times. We become chronic complainers. We are like the farmer’s wife who was never happy with conditions. Even the blessings had something lacking in them. One harvest her potatoes were the best in the country, the minister called and when he saw the large potatoes, he said, “surely you have nothing to complain about now”. She answered “I don’t.” “Well where are the little potatoes, I always give to the pigs”.
Some one was asked, “What are you thankful for”? After some thought, the person replied, “I’m thankful for he things I can do without and still be happy”. A Bible injunction is, and having food and clothing, let us there with be content. A thanksgiving based on material things alone is fleeting and sometimes fatal. The Apostle Paul discovered that true contentment was a state of the soul which was independent of outward conditions. Not that comfortable homes, material aids and pleasant surroundings are not helping in easing the burdens of life, but they do not control and motivate a thankful spirit, rather than supplement it. A little child quoting the 23rd Psalm said,