A tag used to be a piece of paper or card or similar that was tied to something to identify it somehow.
In current usage a tag is more likely to be a reference to a way of linking and identifying posts with a common theme or themes.
But i am defining a new way of using A TAG
It’s an acronym, for Attitude of Thankfulness, Appreciation and Gratitude.
In my and my parents generation, ‘politeness’ was especially important to be seen to be done.
Parents would be certain to make sure that if a gift or present was received by their children that the kids would always say ‘Thank You’ and would offer their (often insincere) gratitude to Uncle Charlie or Aunt Ethel for their ‘generous’ gift or deed.
It was the thought that counted and ungratefulness or lack of acknowledgment of effort (even if the effort was not actually all that great or well thought out) was NOT an option back then.
I have noticed in a few places that some of today’s children (and for that matter their parents) do not know how to display their gratitude for things received.
The Bible has one or two (hundred!) things to say on this topic of how we as Christians are supposed to act concerning the gifts we are presented with in life – and the gift of life itself for that matter.
Here’s one i read recently:
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. (1 Thess 5:18,19)
Note that there is no ‘rider’ here. The quote does not say in every NICE thing, but in EVERY THING give thanks. Do not quench your spirit (of Love for all).
We as humans tend to want the good and the nice and avoid the bad and the painful. Being Thankful for a ‘negative’, as we perceive it, is not what comes ‘naturally’ to any of us.
When difficult times arise we can sometimes only see the negative and focus on it and this will ‘quench the Spirit’ inside of us. God’s Joy and Love and Peace can be very hard for us to feel when we are suffering in some way, especially when we do not see any way ‘out’ of our suffering or of lifting our spirit back ‘up’.
Yet, knowing this, God asks us through Paul and others to be Thankful in every thing.
We are to develop a permanent attitude of Thankfulness for all things; of Appreciation for what we do have rather than spite or unhappiness for a burden we feel has been placed upon us or something/someone loved taken away from us; of Gratitude that we have been allowed to live through whatever experience we have ‘survived’ if not actually ‘enjoyed’ at the time.
I can think of few better examples of this today than is being shown In Victoria by some truly remarkable human beings.
Quite literally some survivors of the unimaginable Bushfires lived through total Hell on Earth – many did not live through it but were incinerated along with everything they owned and held dear.
Yet there are survivors who have been left with nothing, after a lifetime of building a home and family, who are still thankful – just to get out alive.
I cannot imagine how anyone could be thankful in such a truly horrendous scenario as played out over the past week – and yet he commands us to do just that – be Thankful.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philip 4:6,7)
Out of a position of humility and thanks for what is and what is to come make your request through prayer to God. As he wills it it shall be so – not as we in our self-pride would have or demand it.
How can we ever do that?
It, like most of our response to life, is determined by our perspective of events.
If you are sick, you could be grateful you still have two arms and two legs and all your senses intact, many don’t.
if you lose an arm or leg you could be thankful you still have the remaining limbs and are able to better relate to those in your current condition who still manage to live full, productive lives and give thanks for it.
If you lose a child, or a parent, you could be thankful for the times you were allowed with them rather than resntful for the ones you feel have been taken from you and remember that in every moment our life is a gift that is not under our power to raise or offer – we are all on ‘borrowed’ time.
We are to remain Thankful, Appreciative and Grateful for every millisecond of our gift of life here on Earth because it is something we will never (remember we ) experience again.
By learning to develop A TAG we will grow in His Peace, in His Joy and Gain His Love permanently.
Here, and beyond.
So, do you have it in you? Do you have Him in you? Can you be thankful for even your adversity that you have or are living through?
Could A TAG get you ‘through’ it – alive?
Can we help others do it by doing it ourselves?