Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Always Giving Thanks

I never jumped on the WWJD bandwagon. It’s a good quick reminder that I should try to please God in everything, but I think it’s too pat. If we think through its implications, we might not be so quick to proclaim it. Long before the acronym became popular, I read a book by Charles M. Sheldon called In His Steps. In it, a group of Christians decided to ask “What would Jesus do?” before doing anything. They agreed to live this way for a whole year. I actually don’t remember a lot of the book, but I thought the concept was crippling. If I remember right, the characters encountered unexpected and difficult situations. I was quite young when I read it and didn’t have the spiritual maturity to see the good in that.

But even now, I’m not sure the scriptures teach us to ask that question quite so literally. Philippians 2:5 tell us to have His attitude and then Paul goes on to describe His humility and self-sacrifice. Ephesians 5:1-2 agrees, telling us to imitate God in everything we do. If I have the same attitude that Jesus had, I will imitate Him in my actions. But that's copying what He did, not guessing what He would do.

So maybe a better question would be: What would Jesus have me do?

The Colossians passage makes it clear that everything I do reflects my attitude. As an imitator of God, I represent Him. My attitude should not only be loving and self-sacrificing, it should also be thankful.

So how do I apply this to my daily activities? What I do or say during my day depends on my calendar. When I have class, I lecture about communication, specifically communicating orally. When I’m at a Bible study, I talk about the lesson and the Bible. At Weight Watcher meetings, I talk about food and healthy eating. Other things I do, in no particular order, are: Sleep, eat, read, play games, write, watch TV, feed the cat, talk to my family, pray, clean my house, garden, grade speeches, run errands, bake cookies, attend Church, pay bills, exercise, cook dinner, babysit, prepare my Sunday School lesson.

And in all these things, I am representing Christ. 

I need to always be conscious of that. How? By giving thanks to God the Father through Jesus. A thankful heart underlies living for Him. Instead of focusing on what action I should take, I want to ask God to give me a thankful heart.

I need a bracelet that say AGTTGTJ. 

Always Giving Thanks to God Through Jesus.

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