NBC DISCIPLE’S LIFESTYLE FOR NOVEMBER 22, 2020 : TOPIC – DEVELOPING RIGHT ATTITUDE TO THANKSGIVING
NBC DISCIPLE’S LIFESTYLE
NOVEMBER 22, 2020
DEVELOPING RIGHT ATTITUDE TO THANKSGIVING
HYMN: BH 252 FAITH OF OUR FATHERS
SCRIPTURE: 2 THESSALONIANS 1:3-4
TEACHING METHOD(S): Discussion
PRIMARY LEARNING OUTCOME AND INDICATORS:
Members will understand ways of developing right attitude to thanksgiving by:
i. Understanding attitudes of thanksgiving.
ii. Stating ways of developing an attitude of gratitude.
iii. Knowing the right attitude of thanksgiving toward God.
ICE BREAKING PERIOD: Let two members of the class share what they have gained by appreciating God and others.
Facilitator’s Opening Remarks
As learnt earlier, thanksgiving is the act of expressing gratitude to God for His blessings, whether physical, spiritual or material. And as we grow daily, so should our attitude towards thanksgiving improve. Our relationship with Jesus Christ should transform us into a joyful, positive and grateful soul. One sign that shows that Jesus Christ is living in our heart is gratitude. A right attitude is very crucial to many things we do. When we have the right attitude, we will be able to appreciate God and others for all blessings that come our way.
I. Having an Attitude of Gratitude
Here are some ways of showing an attitude of gratitude to God.
1. Remember that showing gratitude pleases God: Gratitude makes God happy. God’s presence was felt by the people in response to their thanksgiving (2 Chronicles 5:13-14). God loved to hear the praise from the temple and so He drew near. Thanksgiving and praise are the keys to attracting the presence of God.
2. Avoid complaining at all costs: Complaining and grumbling are the major barriers to gratitude. We must learn to control ourselves when we complain and stop it right away. Also, we need to avoid complaining because God hates it and it is capable of ruining our spiritual lives.
3. Make a choice to rejoice come what may: It may be difficult to be thankful at certain times but we need to make a personal decision to be grateful even when we do not feel like or when it is hard for us to do so. Apostle Paul wrote these words from prison, “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say it rejoice.” Paul emphasised the word rejoice by saying it twice in that verse of the Scripture. Paul made a personal decision to be joyful despite his circumstances, he decided that even though he was in prison it didn’t matter, he was going to praise and thank God anyway. In the end, his decision transformed his situation. Gratitude is a choice but we have to make a conscious decision that we are going to be grateful to God despite the circumstances of our life (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
4. Develop daily discipline of giving thanks: To be thankful people begins by daily giving thanks to God. It is a discipline that believers must imbibe. No matter how small our blessing may seem, we must learn to search out the positive in the midst of the negative and give thanks. A popular hymn says, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
Sharing Time: How can we recognise God’s hand in anything we undertake?
II. Ways of Developing an Attitude of Gratitude
1. Write it down– in order to remember, keep a gratitude journal. Be specific about what you are thankful for. When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect you will command towards others.
2. Talk about it – Sharing what you are thankful for isn’t just for the sake of thanksgiving but to encourage others as well. Making time out to talk about what you are grateful for is important all year long. It will reinforce your feelings and that of others. Someone says “if you are really thankful, what do you do? You share it.”
3. Meditate on it: Whether you regularly meditate or not, take a break for a few times a day. Focus with a spirit of thankfulness. Who are you thankful for? Bring the person to mind. Imagine your life is surrounded with blessings from that person.
4. Express it – Find that teacher who made a difference in your life and tell him or her how much you are grateful. Write a personal note to a long lost friend, telling him/her what he/she meant to you. Someone once said, “Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy”.
5. Seek it – If you want to be thankful, get around people with that characteristic. Some people just bubble over with enthusiasm and gratitude for life.
Sharing Time: God gives us the gift of 86,400 seconds per day. For how many seconds do you think it is justifiable to say thank you to God?
III. Building a Right Attitude of Thanksgiving to God
First and foremost, when we are thankful, we recognise God at work in our lives. Our thoughts are projected toward God, the object of our gratitude (Psalm 107:1). Thanksgiving makes us aware that God is at work in our midst.
Secondly, as we express our thanks to God, we also generate genuine feelings of affection and love toward our heavenly Benefactor. We learn to love God through receiving His love. His love is expressed in Christ’s dying on the cross for us and our sins. It is also partly revealed through His daily goodness and blessing on our lives. As we recount these things, our love for Him is established and strengthened.
Thirdly, thoughtful and heartfelt thanksgiving promotes faith towards God because, it recounts all the good that God has done for us. The remembrance of what God has done builds confidence in the believer to continue to trust God. It also enhances the faith of the believer.
Fourthly, heartfelt thanksgiving prepares us for worship. Through thanksgiving, we develop a right attitude towards God, one of awareness, faith, love, and worship.
We must pause daily, perhaps at the start of the day and surely at its close, to thank God. When we deliberately take time to think about God, His redemption in Jesus Christ, all His benefits, and all our blessings, there can be only one result – thanksgiving. Thanksgiving helps us have a right attitude toward God. It is a virtue that works on our attitude and makes it right.
Sharing Time: What other benefits can you name? How can you develop an attitude of gratitude in relation to God and others?
Facilitators Closing Remarks: Thanksgiving is a tremendous virtue that influences other actions with its greatest effect on the attitude. “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.” Thankfulness is so important that Christ modelled it in His earthly ministry as an example to His disciples. Thoughtful, heartfelt thanksgiving as a regular practice influences a right attitude. Having examined how we can develop a right attitude to thanksgiving, cultivating the attitudes on a daily basis becomes a positive character that will promote healthy living in our lives. When we express our thanksgiving to God, we derive lots of benefits which enhance our spiritual relationship.
1. Discuss the benefits of gratitude in human lives.
2. What are some ways of cultivating positive attitudes to gratitude in our Christian life?
3. How do we show thanksgiving to God?