GCV Blog

Give thanks in what we say and in what we write

Give thanks in what we say and in what we write
by Pastor Ken Harvey

It does not take much for people to express their displeasure in life.  Ask the average person “How are you doing?” and frequently, a list of circumstances that are less than ideal are enumerated.   Go on Facebook and scroll through your friends’ and families’ most recent status updates. While you will find descriptions of the mundane or excitement for different events, undoubtedly you will find someone expressing some displeasure on a variety of fronts, from the trite to the more serious. This is a far cry from repeated commands to give thanks. In Psalm 107:1 we find “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”  And Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, tells us  “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

If you find yourself complaining, what is the solution? Obviously we need to monitor what we want to say but that is merely masking the problem. The real problem is not what we say or write but what we think and believe. Christ explains, “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person” (Matthew 15:18).  The real problem is a heart problem. 

God has graciously given us multiple verses to combat this problem.  Let’s stop and consider one.  A popular passage on our speech addresses this issue straight on: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).  This is a great command, but we need to consider the context of that passage. In verse 17, Paul draws a line in the sand; as believers, we are to no longer act like unbelievers. After describing the former way of living as an unbeliever, he gives a few commands.  First, put off that old way of living.  That is, stop acting like that. In addition, we are “to be renewed in the spirits of your minds and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (verses 23-24).   How do you and I stop complaining?  Renew your minds with spiritual truths.  For example, memorize Scripture and be around people who will remind you of spiritual truths. Also, put on the new self; that is, act like who you really are in Christ. When you follow these commands, then what you say and what you write will change.

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