May 19, 2017
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
My elementary school was called Jackson School, and we had typical summer breaks of about three months. Early on in my education, I came back to school one fall and had to ask a classmate, “How do you make a ‘d’?” I had forgotten over the summer how to write the letter d! So my friend wrote one out for me. Looking back, I see that learning the alphabet can be considered an “entry-level skill” for school. To succeed in school for any length of time, the alphabet is one of the first things we need to know.
The working world also has entry-level skills, like showing up on time, doing our prescribed tasks, and getting along with coworkers. These are just entry-level skills because we need them before we can start doing real work for an employer. They are not too complicated, but if we are going to be successful, we have to develop them to their maximum.
In the Gospel, one of the most important entry-level skills we need to have is thankfulness. Even when in the worst of conditions, people who may seem to have nothing good in their lives need a thankful heart. And there is much to be thankful for!
The Bible says that we did not make ourselves, but God made us. He knew our substance and members while we were in our mothers’ wombs. Sometimes after it rains, I see little worms on the sidewalks and just thank God that He did not make me like one of them! But beyond that, He made each of us unique and with a special purpose. You are the only you, and I am the only me. We might complain about our physical characteristics at times, but remember that the Lord made us this way, and we should appreciate it. He also said that we can be His people, and fulfilled that promise when He bought us with a price—Jesus’ precious Blood. Thank God for that!
If we want to be successful as Christians, we need to have the entry-level skill of thankfulness. It may not always be easy, but it is the will of Christ Jesus concerning us. It is the basis for joy in the Christian faith, and God can help us learn how to have it.