Possibility thinking is not enough…

Kingdom Principle: Gratitude is more than a perspective/attitude, it is faith in action.

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 Psalm 66:1-12 2 Timothy 2:8-15 Luke 17:11-19

In the world of facebook and social media – people plaster their lives out there lives for others to respond… While this has served well in many areas – I also see how often people without any anchoring of faith respond with – “Sending you positive thoughts” – while I’d rather have positive thoughts than negative or no thoughts at all – I have to wonder – what is the difference between those positive thoughts and prayers.  Is positive thinking enough to make change happen?

I wish I had a positive answer to every time  Jesus tells me to do something I will immediately do it…. But loving my enemies sometimes causes me to stumble, turning the other cheek doesn’t always appear to me to be an option, and abiding in the Father,  while always being a great idea, does not always reach my “to-do” list.  But what if – is was made a little bit more simple (as if it was not simple enough) what if all I had to do was to remember what Jesus did, and Say Thank You! Could it be that simple? – That practice would set me in the right direction for my faith to increase, and my life to be transformed. What am I waiting for – Let me Remember & and be Thankful.

There is a fundamental starting point for this Kingdom Principle – It is that God is in control and I am not, further that God is Sovereign and I am his Servant(leader). In this God does not owe me a Please or Thank you for he is the Master, and it is my duty (privilege) to serve him. (see last week) May it suffice to say that – the Lord calls us to be Thankful. This is certainly not limited to this passage – it is a key component to the Kingdom of God… which began with the creation of the world, and is the message Jesus came to proclaim.  Elsewhere I have labeled this as either being Bitter or Blessed.  In life,  you are going to live your  life becoming bitter, or, you are going to see life through the lens of God’s Blessings and live in abundance. This is not based as much on your circumstances and experiences as to your response to such events. But as the Principle says – Thanksgiving is more than attitude.  While an “attitude of gratitude” is great – it is the actual faith in action which is at the heart of thanksgiving. Here is how this is different.

When you see the blessings or share the perspective of thanksgiving, yet fail to put that into action your thanksgiving will not result in humility or hospitality, rather it will puff up and actually lead to greed. Here is how…

If you begin to see that an attitude of gratitude is powerful in life and will yield great rewards (the perspective of positive thinking or law of attraction) you will eventually begin to see this tool as a means to ensuring that good things come into your life. I am not against or discredit positive thinking or the law of attraction; however I believe these are a s way of getting what you want in life and can faith be a foundation of all that you do and say. The problem is that Jesus has taught me to pray – THY will be done, not my will be done. God does not owe you anything because you have the right answer or perspective.   YET – when your gratitude is moved by faith into action, the power of positive thinking is left behind. It is not that I am simply thinking positive, or attracting the desired outcome, rather now regardless of the situation in my life – I discover thanksgiving.  I am actually being able to see that that which is in my life is positive and the desired outcome is thanksgiving regardless of circumstance.

It is clearly not the desired outcome of Jeremiah for Israel to go into captivity, but God reveals how to bring prosperity in the midst of calamity. It is not to simply remain positive. Actually the call is to move in the opposite direction of what may seem positive at all. The desired outcome or possibility thinking is that captivity will be short-term (see Jeremiah 28 to see who a prophet who thinks this way fares). But God reveals that positive outcomes can come only from action that calls upon God to do the impossible, not our possibility thinking.  This is why we must remember everything that God has done and continues to do (Hope) – and remain positive about God’s moves rather than our own (Humility). This will free us from being ashamed and move us confidently into all we have to do. (see 2 Timothy) Positive and possibility thinking is a great perspective, to believe in yourself (not ashamed) so that you can achieve what you want (confidence), but it is not what God is calling us to. God is calling us to call on Him, to fix our minds on the things above, not on earthly things – but rather on Christ (Col. 3:1-4) God is calling us to find our identity in Him (confidence) then in all of life, not matter what comes your way (success or failure) you will not be ashamed for it is God who is with you there.

Jesus clarifies and simplifies putting our faith into action as a form of gratitude; the story of Luke makes it as simple as remembering to say Please and Thank you.  When we say please we are requesting Mercy (something we don’t deserve) when we say Thank you we are replying to Grace (something we can’t earn) In the Please and Thank You of life we are acknowledging and putting into action our thanksgiving for what we have and desire to have in our lives.  Further – in many languages (at least German, Dutch, Italian and Hebrew) the same word is used for Please and You’re Welcome…. Where You’re Welcome is the response to someone saying Thank You. So the dance of Mercy & Grace is the flow of Thanksgiving in your life – which is faith in action.

English

Please

Thank  You

You’re Welcome

Dutch

Alstublieft

Dank u

Alseblief or

 Geen Dank

German

Bitte

Danke

Bitte

Italian

Per favore (formal)

Prega (permission)

Grazie

Prego

Hebrew

(spoken)

Bevekshah

rav todot

Bevakasha

Biblically

Mercy Requested

Grace Received

Mercy revealed

Say Please to God more often – Then Respond with Thank you (that he heard you – not that you got what you asked for…. When you hear God say – You are welcome – then you know that both Grace and Mercy were exchanged….

About chaplaincasey

In my Community I am a Chaplain, Coach and Catalyst.
This entry was posted in After Pentecost, Year C and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Possibility thinking is not enough…

  1. Pingback: Not so; Know-it-all | confrontingchaos

  2. Pingback: Libations of Liberty | confrontingchaos

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