That is Good News! Thankful thinking puts attitude into proper perspective

Published 10:07 am Saturday, November 23, 2019

Brad McKenzie

One afternoon, a man was at his local post office writing on some packages he was preparing to send.  An elderly gentleman approached the area where the other man was working with a postcard in his hand.  The older man asked if the man preparing packages could address his postcard for him. The man gladly did so, and he even agreed to include a message on the postcard.  He even signed the card!  

The man who had been so helpful to the elderly man asked, “Sir, is there anything else you need help with today?”  

The older man pondered the question and replied, “Ok, please add at the bottom of the card, ‘Forgive me for the messy handwriting!’”

One of the great examples in scripture of neglecting to be thankful is in the story of Jesus healing 10 lepers.   

“On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke‬ 17:11-19‬ NRSV‬‬‬‬

There was only one leper who came back to give gratitude and thanksgiving to Jesus.  There is a helpful reminder of the importance not just of giving thanks but living a life that is characterized by gratitude.  This is something I like to call thankful thinking.   

Thankful thinking puts our attitude into a proper perspective.  

The leper who ended up giving thanks and praise to Jesus began to go off with the other until he realized what had happened to him.  His attitude gained the perspective that it was Jesus who had healed them and Jesus who had deserved praise.  

Thankful thinking sees the Lord at work.  The scripture is full of instructions to give God thanks for His great works.  God’s resources and blessings to us are often unseen, yet still given to us.  

Thankful thinking does not focus on the problem but focuses on the God who loves us.  When you face a difficult problem in your life, you can deny the problem, you can give into your problem, or you can face your problem with thanksgiving and gratitude trusting that God is for you, not against you.  

During the coming week instead of asking someone how they are doing, ask them what they are thankful for.  We will never realize how many of our needs God has met, how many of our prayers he has answered. Have you thanked the Lord lately?  

When we focus on the problem, we have “stinkin thinkin.”  When we live in thankfulness to God, our thinking cannot help but be thankful.  That is Good News!   


Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, in Orange.