There are many elements that make up a life of thanksgiving, and we will look at six essential ones. It is not surprising that money is not one of those essentials. When we live a life of thanksgiving we will live a life that is rich and satisfying. As the Apostle John wrote when he quoted Jesus in John 10:10, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give you a rich and satisfying life.”
The ultimate expression of life is not money. The ultimate expression of life is not a thing or outward trapping. The ultimate expression of life is not even a million dollar bank account or a large and fancy home. The ultimate expression of a life of thanksgiving is a life that is both rich and satisfying.
So, what would constitute a rich and satisfying life?
You won’t be happy if you don’t produce. The trek of life is not rest. Yes, we must rest, but only long enough to gather strength to get back to productivity. What’s the reason for the seasons and the seeds, the soil and the sunshine, the rain and the miracle of life? It’s to see what you can do with it — to try your hand to see what you can do.
2. Good Friends
Friendship is probably the greatest support system in the world, so don’t deny yourself the time to develop it. Nothing can match it. It’s extraordinary in its benefit. Friends are those wonderful people who know all about you and still like you. A real friend is someone that would go to any length of pain and discomfort to help you out.
A friend will laugh with you and cry with you. We’ve all got casual friends, who if we called them, they would say, “Hey, if you get back, call me, and we’ll have a party.”
Proverbs 18:24 puts it this way, “There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” You’ve got to have both real friends and casual friends in life. Enjoy both for what they are.
3. Your Culture or Heritage
Your heritage and culture with its language, music, ceremonies, traditions, and dress are so vitally important that you must keep it alive. The uniqueness of all of us, when blended together, brings vitality, energy, power, influence, and rightness to the world. The heritage that I have surrounding my ancestors in Marietta and The Big House, which is the family home, is very dear to me.
Spirituality helps to form the foundation of the family that builds the nation. Make sure you study it, practice it, and teach it. Don’t be careless about the spiritual part of your nature because it’s what makes you who you are, different from dogs, cats, birds, and mice.
5. Don’t Miss Anything
My parents taught me not to miss anything, not the game, the performance, the movie, or the dance. My dad is 87 this fall. He never misses church or activities at the senior apartment complex he lives in. He exercises each day and seldom misses his great-grandchildren’s birthday parties for the ones that live close enough. Dad misses mom every day, but he carries on and enjoys life every day also.
Be as active as feasible, and go to everything you possibly can. Go see everything, and experience all you possibly can. Enjoy your journey. Don’t always be waiting to reach your destination. Live a vital life. If you live well, you will earn well. If you live well, it will show in your face. It will show in the texture of your voice. There will be something unique and magical about you if you live well. It will infuse not only your personal life but also your business life. And, it will give you a vitality nothing else can give.
6. Your Family and the Inner Circle
Invest in them, and they’ll invest in you. Inspire them, and they’ll inspire you. Take care of the details with your inner circle. Share with your family. Celebrate with them and allow them to celebrate with you. Take time to call them and to stop by and spend a few moments with them. Sometimes it only takes a 5 or 10-minute phone call to make their day really special.
If a father walks out of the house and can still feel his daughter’s kiss on his face all day, he’s a powerful man. If a husband walks out of the house and can still feel the imprint of his wife’s arms around his body, he’s invincible all day. It’s the special stuff with your inner circle that makes you strong and powerful and influential. So, don’t miss that opportunity.
Hebrews 10:24 puts it this way, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”
So, make sure to remember the true purpose and the reasons you do what you do even when you’re busy. May you truly live the kind of life that will bring the fruit and rewards that you desire.
Next week in our Wisdom Notes we will explore affirmation without discipline.