I saw it as I was sipping my ‘cup of joy’ (peppermint hot chocolate) at a local Starbucks. Yes, it was that time of year when the red cups come out. Though this year, 2016, Starbucks is releasing a green cup, but no worries, we can still sip our hot beverage in that traditional holiday red cup as we anticipate the season. So there I am savoring that peppermint splendor and chocolatey goodness observing something amazing. A young woman was reading something on her smart phone as her countenance changed to a concerned look. She leaned towards what seemed to be a friend sitting next to her and said, “Oh no an email from my boss.”
The friend nestled closer to read the screen along with the young woman, both faces intent, anxious, tentative. You could see they were examining every word, then all of a sudden their expressed changed, their pursed, tense lips relaxed, even moving into a smile, their eyes brightened, the one who had received the email brought one hand to her mouth and gasped and giggled in excitement. The friend looked the young woman in the eyes and said, “Wow, he really values you. What an amazing note of appreciation.” “I know,” replied the young woman, “I feel like I can take on the world!”
“Me too,” said a woman walking by, she must have been taken in by the scene as I was. “One of my students just handed me a thank you card with a loaded Starbucks card. I’m living the dream.” I smiled as I too was experiencing my cup of joy due to a thank you gift with kind words of thankfulness attached.
There is a very real, yet seemingly understated, subtle power of thanks. Being appreciated, affirmed, given words of thanks has a lasting effect. Kids of all ages thrive as their appropriate behaviors are acknowledged. People shine as appreciation fans the flame of talent, performance, and character. Thankfulness not only affects the receiver of those energy-giving morsels of blessing, but changes the internal climate of the giver of gratitude.
It has been said that…
Thankfulness pushes back the negative.
Thankfulness brings to light the positive.
Thankfulness is the gateway to joy.
Thankfulness settles the rise of the ‘me monster’ inside of us all.
Thankfulness is a release of the grip and bond of selfishness.
Thankfulness connects us to others.
Thankfulness is a power that blesses, affirms, and builds up others.
There is a subtle power of thanks…and we should use it for our world, nation, community, family, us. We all could use the energy-infusing, confidence-building, peace-bringing realty of giving thanks.
The Bible could not be clearer:
1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Notice these verses are about giving thanks, not expecting to receive thanks. The giving of thanks is a power we all possess and all can use. So let’s do this! Let’s change our world one moment of appreciation at time. Some are really good at this and other of us need a lot more practice, but let’s wield this subtle power.
Church is a great place to learn and grow in being thankful as we express thanks to God for who He is and all He has done. If you are not already attending a church, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or one of Branch churches in Los Alamitos or Garden Grove. Our website has all the information you need, www.cypresschurch.net . We would love for you to join us.
Seeking to express more thanks along with you,