Healthy People Are Thankful People
Photo: Maciej Korsan
Have you ever read the statement, “You need to get rid of your stinkin’ thinkin’ in order to be healthy,”?
This phrase reflects a person’s outlook on life. Every action starts with a thought; if the thinking is wrong, the action is wrong. You can’t think wrongly and act rightly.
Thanksgiving is a great time of year to correct wrong thinking. It’s a time for us to catalog all the good things God has blessed us with in our lives. It’s amazing how our feelings change when we focus on the blessings rather than the deficits.
The apostle Paul was in prison while he was writing the letter to the Philippian church. One would expect him to complain about his imprisonment and even feel sorry for himself because of the suffering he was enduring. However, Paul was joyful and thankful while he was living in these horrible conditions.
How do you rise above this and have a good attitude?
Paul reveals the answer to this question in Philippians 4:8 – 9:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
I was privileged to have grown up in a thankful family. Both of my parents went through the Great Depression; they experienced lean times. Many of their friends and peers experienced the same things but they chose to become bitter and cynical. Dad and Mom always focused on the important things of health, relationships, the church, opportunity, food, shelter and one another. They took care of their aging parents’ affairs. In fact, my grandmother lived with our family for thirteen years.
I never heard my mom complain about caring for my grandma, her mother-in-law. She was thankful that she was able to honor my dad by being kind and generous to his mother.
She also focused on the benefits the children received by having daily interaction with an elderly grandparent. This experience was extremely valuable for me because it helped me understand and honor older people in my pastorates. Being thankful brings value to everything we experience in life.
I Thessalonians 5:18 explicitly says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
God’s will for you this thanksgiving season is to be thankful and focus on the benefits and blessings in your life.
Healthy people are thankful people.