A couple of weeks ago, I had an opportunity to teach at church. The Lord had been leading me to talk about the power of gratitude and thanksgiving in our daily life; these truths have really been sticking with me.
With all of the advertisements and commercials vying for our attention and business- Christmas consumerism can lead to a surge of comparison and complaining.
So, how do we conquer complaining?
When I asked the Lord that question, I thought He would say, “Be thankful” or “Practice gratitude” or “Count your blessings”. While these are definitely true, the deeper answer He gave me was “by remembering.” He said- “Remembering is the way to conquer complaining and all of the negative issues that go along with it.” Remembering activates our light, and allows us to shine in the darkness.
Because, let’s be honest… it is hard to shine when you whine!
I love this quote from Pastor Kris Vallotton, he says- “Thanksgiving is our response to His actions, praise is our response to His character, and worship is our response to His presence.”
That is so good! I could dig deep into that quote, but that first part is so important to get- thanksgiving or gratitude, is a response to His actions. In other words, when I am thankful, I am thinking about, remembering, recalling, and reflecting on what He has done.
Psalm 105:5 tells us to “remember the wondrous works that He has done”
You see, we complain because we forget. We grumble and whine because we experience memory loss… we suffer from a sort of spiritual amnesia.
Christmas is a time of reflecting on the story of God breaking into our world to save us! It is a time of remembering Emmanuel- God is with us. God is present. We make lists of “must-haves” and “wants”, all the while forgetting what we already possess, forgetting that we already have access to the greatest present!
We are responsible for teaching our children the power of thanksgiving and gratitude, especially around the holidays when so many others in our nation and world are suffering physically and emotionally. As Mary Poppins says, “Enough is as good as a feast!”
Here’s my list of 5 ways to infuse kids with the power of gratitude.
As a family…
- Let’s choose to find all of the gifts and blessings that He has hidden all around us this Christmas.
- Let’s prioritize thanksgiving over our Christmas lists!
- Let’s choose to shine instead of whine, and be an example to our kids of what this looks like.
- Let’s serve our community as a family and break bread with those less fortunate.
- Let’s give more than we expect to receive!
When we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread…” we are praying for enough.
By Kegan Mosier, MA, LPCC
Husband to Mikelle
Dad of one daughter, Reese Noel
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Mental Health Counselor at Cornerstone Christian Counseling
Worship/Creative Ministries Pastor at Passionate Life Church
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