Grateful or Grumbling??

photo by kateausburn

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thessalonians 5:18)  All my life, including my time as First Reader in a Christian Science church, I read that Bible verse as “in everything give thanks” saying ‘everything’ as one word.  Webster says the meaning of everything is: all that exists.  So we are reading:  In all that exists give thanks….and that works, really.  But, the verse says – in every thing (two words not one word).  Let’s go back to Webster again to look up ‘every’ and ‘thing’ to see if the meaning of that verse becomes clearer.  The definition of ‘every’ is:  complete or entire.  The definition of ‘thing’ is:  a matter of concern, situation, circumstance, event, deed, act, accomplishment, quality, idea, fact, possession, detail, or individual.  Now, read that verse using the definition: “in every matter of concern give thanks,” “in every situation give thanks,” “in every circumstance give thanks.”  Now continue using each of the definitions of ‘thing’….all the way to “in every individual give thanks.” 

It’s sometimes difficult to be grateful when our troubles seem to be more in number than our blessings.  Through our understanding of Christian Science, we learn to acknowledge that all our blessings – health, harmony, intelligence, all good, originate in God and are eternally expressed by man.  On this basis, we can challenge our fears that any of these can be lacking, that our troubles could ever outnumber our blessings.  We can certainly heal what seems to be lacking or troublesome by being grateful for the good things we do have.

We read in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, “Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.  Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.”  Let us not be guilty of ingratitude by grumbling over problems, but instead, let us affirm the omnipotence of God, and express gratitude….in every thing, giving thanks!

About Debra Chew

Debra is the legislative and media contact for Christian Science in Tennessee. She is also a Christian Science Practitioner.
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