It’s a big word these days, and it’s everywhere, from t-shirts proclaiming “grateful” and “blessed” to pretty Facebook headers and coffee mugs.
It’s all well and good. I’m glad to see it. We need to be grateful. It’s good to pause, remember, and give thanks.
But what about if being grateful isn’t enough?
Most of my readers live in America, where an average family income of $50,000 means we are richer than 99% of the world’s population. We are the rich ones, the wealthy ones. What are you doing with that huge responsibility?
Are you using it to incur more debt and stuff and stress?
Or are you giving of your time and treasure and making a difference?
What causes do you support? Are you helping or mentoring any families in your local community? Have you added value to the Body of Christ lately?
Is your gratefulness followed by a sense of contentment and generosity? Or does your #grateful #blessed hashtags on social media merely follow the typical November theme with Facebook friends?
Are you spending money on the newest iPhone and a bigger house and luxury cars while privately struggling to make the mortgage payment and put gas in your tank? Or do you know someone else who lives this way? You probably do.
Our actions will speak loudly to those around us… more loudly than our hashtags.
Being grateful doesn’t mean “grateful for a packed garage and bursting storage unit.”
“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required…” Luke 12:48
God has given us so much to be thankful for: salvation, grace, mercy, peace, love, family, friends. We don’t need more stuff. Our society has reached the point where THINGS are sometimes valued more than PEOPLE. Just watch the news on the day after Thanksgiving; Black Friday comes and everyone quickly forgets how grateful they were the day before. It’s become an addiction to buying the latest and greatest new things each season. The chemical response our brain gets from scoring that new gadget seems to make us crave yet another deal, another item. We’re a nation addicted to debt in the trillions.
Marketers are paid big money to find the best way to get us to part with our money, all streamed into our homes by ways of smart commercials with well-researched word choices and perfect color palettes.
No, my friend, being grateful on Facebook isn’t enough. Buying the t-shirt isn’t enough.
We’ve got to change the way we live and give.
We have to really, truly, deep-down realize what we already have and the humbling responsibility that comes with these great blessings. It is ours to manage well for the glory of God and we are simply stewards of it for a short season.
We have to stop the debt cycle, learn to live on less than we make, stop wasting money on all the stuff that won’t be exciting anymore next month, and instead make a conscious decision to invest into our families, churches, and communities.
What will you do with your #gratitude before the year is over? Don’t let it stop at the hashtag. Make a plan for your gratitude. Make a difference. Change your life. Change your world. And do it for the glory of God.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6
Go in grace today,
Need help making a change? Here are free printable budget forms to help you get a handle on your finances. Here’s a printable Christmas savings plan. And here’s our story about how we paid off everything, even the house.