Eric Dishongh, PhD
Connecting others to Jesus and His church as a husband, dad, minister, counselor, professor and friend
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Balancing Thanksgiving and Christmas
I woke up this morning in a bit of a panic and asked the Mitz, “When does the Elf on the Shelf go out?"
It's not even Thanksgiving yet, and I'm already worried about Christmas.
It’s probably because we have Christmas decorations already setup at our house. Or maybe it’s because my in-laws already have their tree up. Or it might be that my parents have already bought and wrapped all of the presents for their grandkids (and hopefully kids too!).
Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not a fan of shopping. However, the day after Thanksgiving is when I get excited about shopping. When I was younger (and dumber), I remember standing in line all night at Wal-Mart trying to buy the latest and greatest game set with the hopes of turning around and making a profit on eBay. I did the math and I think I made $1.50 an hour for my efforts! I also remember standing outside at Toys-R-Us for several hours on Thanksgiving night to buy a toy four-wheeler for Brayden. That was definitely well worth the time and energy! These days, I mostly like looking at the newspaper on Thanksgiving day to see the Black Friday sales at Jos. A Bank.
All of that is part of the holiday fun, and there's nothing wrong with hurrying and scurrying on Thanksgiving night or Black Friday. The problem comes in when we end up living every day of our lives focused on the next best thing that we don't currently have.
Instead of always rushing to get what we want, let's slow down and be thankful for what we already have.
As I try to help people deal with their problems, I often talk about the “attitude of gratitude” and how that can shift our focus away from being upset about what/who we don't have and towards being thankful for what/who we do have.
This “attitude of gratitude” is needed every day, not just during the Thanksgiving holiday.
God promises in Scripture that he will provide for our needs as we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (see Matthew 6:25-34). Since that's the case, we have many blessings to count on a daily basis!
And it's not wrong to want more out of life and more out of others, but we have to make sure our prayer requests to God have an “attitude of gratitude” attached to them, as expressed in Philippians 4:6-7…
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
My life purpose is to connect people to Jesus and His church by providing a Christian example and by reaching out in spiritual, relational, academic, and community levels.
7 CommentsRead More
11/25/2015 12:56:27 pm
I always read and enjoy your blogs, Eric! Keep writing! (Friend of the Mitz)
11/25/2015 02:01:41 pm
Thank you for reminding me that I need to have an "attitude of gratitude" year-round. Happy Thanksgiving!
11/25/2015 02:11:26 pm
Good thoughts. Hope you and your family have a "Happy Thanksgiving."
11/26/2015 07:49:25 am
Very good thoughts
11/26/2015 12:35:39 pm
11/30/2015 10:26:24 pm
Great reminder and great words (even if I am late reading this).
12/13/2015 04:37:53 pm
I can't imagine, seeking physical objects, and other worldly things, with as much effort, energy, sacrifice and determination, as is necessary to seek Christ, and worship the Father. The whole point of first seeking the kingdom, before anything else, is that as we walk in God's ways, and live for Him, all through His Son, then the desires of your heart shall be given you. I always seem to randomly encounter, something that I really want, at a great price. I seek and I find, and I let the Lord bother with such details as price and availability. If I delight in Him (Psalm 37:4), and seek first His church (Luke 12:31), then I can rest assured, in His promise, to grant me the desires of my heart, by placing me in a position to acquire them easily and inexpensively. This is not meant to criticise or condemn, the shopping methods of others, this is only the opinion of one disciple of Christ.
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