Thankful Hearts

The words “law” and “command” tend to have a negative connotation to most people.  When independent-minded humans, such as you and me, think of rules and regulations, we think of burdens. We believe that by their very nature God’s laws are restrictive limits to our freedom.

SowerArticle 12-05-2013Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. As Proverbs 28:7 says, “It makes good sense to obey the Law of God.”  Bill Hybels writes, “The Lord tells us specifically that His commands are never burdensome. By this, He doesn’t necessarily mean they’re easy to keep. Rather, He’s telling us that they’re never foolish. They are never unnecessary or purely arbitrary. He doesn’t force us to observe meaningless formalities, nor does He impose rules that have no value. On the contrary, every guideline, every law, every imperative in the Bible was crafted in infinite wisdom. They were given not only to honor God, but to benefit us as well.”

A command that comes to mind during this holiday season is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, where God’s Word says: “Give thanks in all circumstances.” As is true for the rest of God’s laws, this one is for our good and research proves it so.

The magazine Inc. recently ran an article entitled “Listening to Complainers Is Bad for Your Brain.”  Apparently, neuroscientists have learned to measure brain activity when faced with various stimuli, including a long gripe session, and the news isn’t good.

The article summarizes the research: “Being exposed to too much complaining can actually make you dumb. Research shows that exposure to 30 minutes or more of negativity—including viewing such material on TV—actually peels away neurons in the brain’s hippocampus.” That’s the part of your brain you need for problem solving. So, basically, too much complaining (either listening to it or dishing it out) turns your brain to mush.

I pray this compels you to avoid all negativism and embrace thankful hearts. But the best motivation is the truth that we have absolutely nothing to complain about. God showers us with blessings every day and is at work for our good even in the bad He allows to come our way.

So, as our Heavenly Father commands, let’s “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that we may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then we will shine among them like stars in the sky as we hold firmly to the word of life.” (Philippians 2:14ff)

Keep the SON in your eyes!

Categories: A Pastoral Word

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