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  • David Chadwick

Thanksgiving

You are what you think.  Think about it.  Are your thoughts filled with worry and dread, or are they filled with hope and thanksgiving?  Likely, some of both.  But your Father in heaven wants to teach you how to tilt the scale in your mind toward thanksgiving. Paul taught it this way: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).  Paul understood that we have a choice to do something about our anxious thoughts before they enter our hearts and take root. One way to forge this discipline is by replacing anxious thoughts with thankful ones.  Simply put, to practice thanksgiving. Make a thanksgiving list.  List everything you can think of for which you can give God thanks.  Then, when an anxious thought attacks your mind, spear it with something on your list.  Consider writing your anxieties next to something on your list.  Then, literally cross out the anxious thought as you replace it with one of thanksgiving.  Anxious about your finances?  Write it down next to something on your list, then cross it off.  Worried about your job?  Do the same.  Worried about your health?  Again, cancel your anxious thought and replace it with a thankful one. That’s what Jesus did.  He broke bread and gave thanks.  The Lord’s Table is called the Eucharist which means a table of thanksgiving.  We give thanks for the shed blood of Jesus and the gift of eternal life. In Luke 17, there's a story about Jesus healing 10 lepers.  But unlike many such stories, it isn't healing that's the point of the story, instead it’s thanksgiving.  Only one of the 10 lepers who Jesus healed thanked him.  And the leper who returned to give thanks to Jesus was the only one that Jesus said was "saved."  Thanksgiving is essential for our eternal salvation as well.   Throughout the New Testament, Jesus thanked his Father before the miracle, before the blessing, before the healing.  Instead of reacting to anxiety, Jesus gave thanks.  And so should we. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, anxiety among Americans has reached an all-time high.  But as Christ-followers, we know that through thanksgiving we can tilt the scale toward hope.  Faith.  Peace. No matter how great or how small, utter thanksgiving prayers all day long.  And watch your anxiety fade away.