This is part 6 of our Game Changers series:
Part 1: "Purity"
Part 2: "Patience"
Part 3: "Self-Control"
Part 4: "Diligence"
Part 5: "Grace"
What is a game changer? A game changer is an athlete or play that suddenly changes the outcome of a game or contest, or a person or thing that dramatically changes the course, strategy, character, etc., of something. Spiritually, gratitude is a game changer. There’s no better way to show the world who we are and whose we are by extending gratitude in every circumstance and situation.
“Thank you” are two powerful, yet simple words. And too often, they are left unspoken. This simple expression of gratitude is taken for granted by many. Christians, though, must always be thankful “in everything” (Eph. 5:20; I Thess. 5:18). Being thankful is a Biblical concept.
But why is it hard to be thankful? For one, we play the comparison game. Others have so much more, or, I’m missing some things. And when we play the comparison game, we will lose. Every. Single. Time. Secondly, we live in an entitled, spoiled society. If something doesn’t happen how we want it, when we want it, we stink up the place around us. There’s an overwhelming sense of entitlement, and it affects every phase of our life—even our faith.
Give thanks in the good times: When everything is going our way, what tends to happen? We begin taking things for granted, and it turns us into a spoiled people. Giving thanks makes us appreciate what we’ve been given because we know the value of what we have. Take a step back and take an inventory of your life.
Give thanks in the bad times: God wants us to give thanks in the difficult times. It takes faith to thank God for our circumstances. It’s not getting what you want all the time, and being able to thank God anyway. When tragic times hit, it doesn’t seem like there’s much for which to be grateful. God isn’t asking us to pretend that we’re OK. It’s OK to hurt and confess our pain. But He also wants us to confess that He is good and in control.
Look at the big picture: Over the course of our life, we’re going to have ups and downs. But we can’t judge life from a snapshot in time. Having a relationship with Jesus is the only thing—the single thing—that matters.
It’s within the forgiven heart that we find the soil from which gratitude grows. When a person really grasps what it is to be forgiven, that is when a heart of gratitude can really grow. Use today—and every day—to be thankful to God and say “thank you" to those who touch your life.