And Be Thankful! Peace or Worry?

Too many people have worry as the signature mark of their lives today.

In Colossians 3:15 Paul writes: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members on one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

There it is, at the of the verse, the Apostle Paul dangles, “And be thankful.”  Paul is a great writer—the most influential writer in the history of the world. He is prone to thoughtful sentences and well-constructed grammar.

And then at the end of Colossians 3:15 he throws out “And Be Thankful” as an afterthought. The OGV translates the verse: “You make the decision to have peace, since you are members of the same body, be at peace with one another – and, oh, yeah – be Thankful.”

I’ve had a difficult time my entire life being thankful. I would get a birthday present and my mother would tell me, “Say thank you!”

That is what Paul is doing here, as our Apostle (mother), he is telling us to “Say thank you!”.

My mother had to tell me too often to say, “Thank you!” The Apostle Paul tells us to be thankful in Colossians 3:15 and again in Philippians 4:6-7. Both times Paul connects having peace with thanksgiving.

Philippians 4:6-7: Present your requests to God with thanksgiving and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:15: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members on one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Few today have peace. Can the secret to having peace be as simple as following the command, “Be thankful”?

The word translated “thanks” in the New Testament comes from the “grace” word family in the Greek. Thankful can also be translated “be grateful” or “mindful of what has been given to you”.

I challenge you to be thankful this week. We say “thanks” a lot as a throw off in our conversations, but a considered “thank you” to God and to others for what has been given, brings peace. My peace is often destroyed by the demands that I place on others, God, and life.

Saying “Thank You” as a lifestyle eliminates the selfish expectancy about life that surrounds us. When my mother told me to say thank you, she wasn’t trying to make me polite, she was giving me an attitude from which to defend myself against worry.

With most of us, it’s too late for our mothers, but not too late for the Apostle Paul, “And be thankful!”

Try it. Take a piece of paper and list the numbers 1 to 7 for each day of this week. Begin every morning by saying “Thank you” to God.

My list started today:

  1.  God, thank you for a nice hot morning. I’m leaving in a moment to ride my bicycle.

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