We’ve just enjoyed our Thanksgiving holiday…the annual American nod to thankfulness that launches ‘Christmas’ consumerism into overdrive. Thanks-living is a heart attitude we need to give much more time to! In fact, it ought to be the perpetual norm for we who claim the name of Christ. It is the very character of our Savior, who gave everything up to save us–His enemies!
Heartbreakingly, our actions show an attitude that is quite unlike our Savior. For most of us there’s always something new or more we crave. All that wanting erodes our thankfulness. Christ never evidenced that trait. Examining His example helps us aim higher! Consider what thankful unselfishness looked like in the life of Jesus Christ:
- The One who always was willingly left heaven—and all its glories to be born in a barn to an unwed teen…
- The One whose family had to flee for his life…
- The One who had no place to lay his head…
- The One who was rejected, spit on, whipped and killed for the sins of others (you and me)…
…that One NEVER evidenced an attitude of craving anything except the will of the Father. Jesus trusted that God would give Him all that He needed to accomplish exactly what the Father willed…and for that He was thankful and unselfish with all He had.
That pierces me as I think of the many times I fall short of thankfulness–and unselfishness!
The Apostle Paul put it like this:
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich 2 Corinthians 8:9
Jesus gave it all so you and I could have great riches. Too often, we forfeit our riches to chase after things that impoverish us. Thankfulness for all Jesus has done ushers us into the inheritance that cannot be lost! Check this out:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3
We are lacking nothing! Now there’s a thought that sparks a thankful attitude!
Unselfishness is the next attitude goal to set our sights upon. Everything that Jesus had He put on the altar for you and I…and all who would believe. Everything we receive is to be held with the same attitude of thankful unselfishness…and offered back to God for His glory and good purposes.
To learn to receive and share freely – as beloved children of God because of Christ – is a necessary step in our transformation toward Christ-likeness. Developing the character traits of thankfulness and unselfishness prepare us to receive more from our good and generous God. He loves to give us gifts and He wants us to be like Him. May we receive His gifts with unselfish thankfulness and allow that sweet spirit to surround us as we enter into the Advent season and celebrate the Light of the World!