Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Replacing anger with thanksgiving

This past weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada. As is typical for Thanksgiving weekend, I have been running through the list of all the things I am thankful for in my head. And somehow it felt hollow, forced.

I can list hundreds of things in my life that I am grateful for, but if I spend the rest of my week grouchy and irritable, the truth is that I'm actually ungrateful. Right?

So how can a person really celebrate Thanksgiving? As cheesy as it sounds, I think it comes down to having an attitude of gratefulness - which is reflected by joyfulness - throughout the year. A sense of joy in being alive, in our salvation, in our relationships, regardless of circumstances.

We might be running late for an appointment, the children might be misbehaving, I might be feeling annoyed... My typical response would be to bark orders, raise my voice, scowl and growl and rush everyone along. If I were to have thanksgiving in my heart, my response would be more patient, more gentle, less angry.

If a grateful heart is reflected by having joy and peace, does that mean anger comes from an attitude of ungratefulness? As I run my own words through my head (Why won't they listen to me? Obey me? Respect me? Can't I just have a few minutes of peace and quiet? I wish they would stop bickering all the time! They are making me crazy!) I hear the truth. It's all about me - what I want, expect, deserve. Wishing for more, better. Dissatisfied with what I have. Ungrateful. Unthankful. Angry.

It stands to reason, then, that by planting seeds of thanksgiving in my heart I will begin cultivating joy and peace. Replacing the angry with the joyful, with the thankful, with the grateful.

I'm off the spend a few quiet minutes with the Source of joy...


  1. I cannot tell you how much you and your words mean to me. Nearly every post you write, I feel like it was written either BY me, or FOR me.

    I am having a not-so-successful week (spiritually) so far, but this post is a reminder to me of what I already know but was too proud to admit. Love you!

  2. I can only say that I've struggled on the same level. Going to the Source of Joy is the only sure-fire way I know to get over myself.

    Thankful for His kindness,


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