Simon and I are practicing something new this Thanksgiving season, a variation of an idea I found here.
During the the entire month of November, we are paying closer attention to all the little things our kids are doing that are “praiseworthy” (like holding the door for someone, taking the garbage out unasked, remembering to use good manners, holding their tongue when treated harshly, or any number of other character qualities we want to encourage in our next generation). Each time we witness such an act, we are writing about it on a fall-colored sticky note and sticking it to their bedroom doors when they aren’t looking. (Example: “I was so thankful when I saw you offer to help the man in the wheelchair get a refill of his soda at Sam’s today.” True story. Cue Mom tears.)
Seems simple enough, I know, but I confess that I am too quick to point out the negative while being too slow to praise the positive. And a month focused on thankfulness seems like the proper place to change that pattern, don’t you think? After all, we are encouraged in Philippians 4:8 to do this very thing…
“whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable – if there is any moral excellence or if there is any praise – dwell on these things.”
How are you shifting your focus to one of thanksgiving for the little things this season? Please share your creative ideas (or links) in the comments.
Joseph’s life didn’t start off on easy street. It would have been understandable if he had thrown up his hands in defeat by the time he was behind bars in Egypt. Instead, Joseph walked the bumpy road of his life focused on serving, not on self.
When enslaved in Potiphar’s house, Joseph served righteously.
When imprisoned for doing right by his master, Joseph served faithfully.
When the cupbearer forgot him, Joseph continued to serve in prison steadfastly.
Joseph purposed to serve as working for the Lord, not for human masters – wherever he was.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. – Colossians 3:23
Through his serving, through the thousands of menial tasks he performed as a slave and prisoner, through the faithfulness of whatever he did, Joseph added to his good reputation one faithful day at a time.
PONDER: What difficulties in your life focus your attention on self rather than the Savior? What menial, daily tasks of yours could be turned into ministry if your focus was on serving God instead of serving man?
PRAYER: Father, thank You for giving me something to work with my hands every day. Thank You for the countless opportunities you have granted me to serve those around me. Thank You for every job I have that goes unthanked, unappreciated or unnoticed. Help me to praise You with my hands as I do my work unto You, every day. May I seek to serve You, wholeheartedly, all the days of my life.