Power of Thanksgiving and Complaints

A person who gave out a baptism testimony during the Wednesday service last week shared about how giving thanks changed her. She said in her testimony that in House church, she was asked to share about things she was thankful for and was puzzled at first because she couldn’t understand why she was being asked to do so when she didn’t have much to be thankful about. However, every time she went to House church meeting, she searched in her heart for something to be thankful for to share with others and listened to other members giving thanks. Then gradually, she was changed into someone who gave thanks to little things she had never appreciated before.

Also, when she started looking for something to be thankful for and to give thanks for, dissatisfaction in her life started to thin out and complaints disappeared. She started to feel contentment in her life, her wounds healed, and she became optimistic. Eventually, her relationship with her husband and children improved as her complaints toward them disappeared. This is a great example of how a good habit can bring amazing, positive chain reactions and change someone’s life for good.

Listening to her stories reminded me of another story. There was a person who enjoyed being able to drive straight to his work from home without being caught by traffic lights. If he set out early from his home, he usually cruised through all the green lights but occasionally he got caught on red lights. He sat through those red lights complaining of his bad luck and how long the red lights were on when there’s hardly any traffic on that road. But one day, he noticed how he was constantly complaining about little things and how his life had less joy than before. This is another good example of how a bad habit negatively influences someone’s life through amazing chain reactions.

The scholars who emphasize on the power of habits claim that a total turn-around on a disruptive life style can be achieved by changing one’s habit and suggest that one must find a ‘keystone habit’. In other words, a habit that can cause chain reactions if changed and affect the whole life style is called ‘keystone habit’. Those who wish to change his or her life must find what that is, and I believe habitual thanksgiving or habitual complaints are keystone habits to all people.

Therefore, I would like to emphasize once more that in House church sharing time, you should share something you are thankful for instead of ordinary stuff. So, shepherds should specifically ask people to “share some thankful things in the past week” instead of simply asking people to share. If you have a member who’s not used to sharing in that manner, help that member by specifically asking, “So, what were you thankful for?” to make sure the member finishes sharing with thanksgiving.

I believe that when we look for something to be thankful for in our lives regardless of the amount, and when we profess it to others, our lives will be more abundant and filled with things to be truly thankful for.

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