Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
How is it possible in this crazy ever-changing world to “abound in thanksgiving”? If you take even a cursory look around these days, you see strife, hatred, divisions, bullying, and lightning-fast change. In all seriousness… is it even possible to be thankful at all in life?
You have a choice. You can focus your mind wherever you choose. If you focus on the negative events, you will likely become discouraged, maybe even depressed; but the resulting emotional state is a direct and completely expected result of your choice. If, instead, you focus on the positive things that are in your life, you will likely become happier and lighter of spirit. Duh. You know all this. Its not rocket science or clinical psychology.
Knowing this, however, and walking in the truth of it are two really different things. All of us can, for short periods, focus on the good; but the harsh reality of life creeps back in and fills our vision. All of us can be thankful – in short burst; but who can “abound with thanksgiving”?
The quote above makes if clear who can do this = those who are rooted in him and are established in the faith they were taught. They can do this. They really can.
So who is the “him” and what had they been taught?
The quote is from the apostle Paul’s little letter written around 60 AD to the Christians living in the city of Colassae, a city Paul passed through in Asia Minor that had suffered two city-shattering earthquakes, and a resulting severe economic collapse in the past 40 years. Not only that, these young believers were now under threat of false teachers who had snuck in now that Paul was gone and in prison.
They had every reason to be in despair and be discouraged, but Paul told them how to avoid this: be rooted and built up in Jesus, and to hold on the the truth of the original teachings that he had delivered to them. Guess what? This cure Paul suggests actually works. It does. It does I tell you. Don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself.
First, get rooted and grounded in Christ. How do you do that? quite simply, actually. If someone wanted to be rooted and grounded in, say Henry David Thoreau, how would they do that? Spending oodles of time reading biographies about him and learning the things he believed and taught… and putting them into practice. To do that with Jesus of Nazareth, spend time every day reading the four gospels and learn everything you can about this fascinating (I dare say even more fascinating than Thoreau) young man.
Then grow in your faith by learning the original Christian teachings. You don’t need to become a theologian… just read (gulp, and even study) the New Testament – as written. Read it for yourself.
The choice is yours. You can wallow through the muck of this darkening world and be sucked down into is despair, or you can rise above it all and abound with thanksgiving. This takes commitment. How do I know that? Read what Thoreau said: “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
The choice is yours.
If you would like to communicate further with me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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