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In Everything Give Thanks

Even with all the criticism Polly Anna gets for her always cheerful attitude; I think she truly understood thanksgiving more than many a fine Christian person today. I used to sorta scoff the whole Polly Anna theory for lack of realness and for being too "idealistic". More and more though, I am beginning to realize her attitude for soundness as well as being "spot on" for what the Bible teaches.

Everyone knows how much God hated the whining and complaining the children of Israel did while He led them through the wilderness. He hated it so badly it was punishable by the ground opening up and swallowing people whole, among other great and terrible things He did to prove His point.

I understand His anger a little bit better after trying to teach my toddlers to share and be thankful and now, while teaching fifth and sixth graders. The truth is, children are not even aware they are complaining until we show them they are. They don't think about their constant interest to do the thing other than what their teacher has planned as being discontent or whining.

But isn't that what we are doing when we search for a way out of our present circumstances? When we say, "This thing you put in front of me to walk through is too hard, Oh Sweet Jesus, deliver me!"

 Isn't that lack of surrender? Isn't that saying that what God provided for our well being isn't good enough? Instead of the dark chocolate of life we prefer the milk chocolate...Who do we think we are? 

If God is going to be God of our lives we have to get surrendered to the things He allows us to walk through. Instead of crying out for deliverance why don't we try Polly Anna's approach and look for one thing to be thankful about in it?

In my search for reasons of why God hates complaining so much, the biggest one I found was that it puts myself in a position of my needs and  my desires for my life as being more important than what God deems necessary for me to learn. It makes me become my own god. Instead of drawing my heart toward worship of God and what He is doing in my circumstances like being thankful will do, it draws me away.

I think Paul meant it when he said to give thanks in everything. I think he probably experienced the fruit of this command in his own personal life. Have you ever noticed the people that have been through the most grueling, terrible life circumstances have turned out to become some of our most looked up to Heroes in all of Christendom today?

Another reason to never whine and always practice thanksgiving...Scripture is tied on the commands to not whine but rather give thanks...Almost every verse that speaks of trials, difficulty, and hard things  are met with being thankful...of offering the sacrifice of praise. Scripture never denies there are hard places but always encourages thanksgiving to God in those hard places.

For the month of November I invite you to a 30 day challenge...

I'm calling mine 30 Days of Thanksgiving...

I'm writing the title on the chalkboard wall in the kitchen and I'm hoping my family will walk by and jot down at least one thing of which to be grateful. I'll try to let you know how this turns out.

Join me? Comment below...I'm hoping to blog at the end of every week with the week's outcome...Would love to hear what you are thankful for too.

Also, do you think it is ever OK for a Christian to whine, complain, and grumble? How serious is it to God? What do YOU think?