Do you have A TAG?

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?

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12 thoughts on “Do you have A TAG?

  1. i am very intentional about having an attitude of gratitude. some days are easier than others. but i have also found that there are times i am grateful cuz i know God is in control – but it doesnt mean i always like it. in other words…even though He has a reason, i may still (even if briefly) not want to be grateful. i battle being a cynic at times. so practicing an attitude of gratitude is essential in my life. its essential for anyones life.

    and why do i have a feeling youre going to pick apart this comment.

    😀

    either way. i will be grateful!

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  2. It’s because of that cynic in you! – battle it harder 😉

    I don’t believe God wants us to ask for bad things in our lives or to be happy when they inevitably come along – any more than i think he only wants us to experience Joy in this life 100% of the time ( why else would we have the range of emotions we do – Even Jesus was in anger once).

    I do believe though that if and when we develop A TAG permanently in every thing we can live the life He intended for us to the Full.

    I quite liked everything you wrote here! 🙂

    Nice to have you ‘back’ 🙂

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  3. AMEN!! And so well written too. This hit me: “When difficult times arise we can sometimes only see the negative and focus on it and this will ‘quench the Spirit’ inside of us.” When we can only see the negative … This is so true. I’ve heard many times, “the Bible says, ‘be thankful in everything’. It doesn’t say ‘be thankful for everything.'” And while that’s true … somehow I still miss that element – that you’ve nailed here – about our focus. When all we can see is negative. Yes. We have to practice seeing the positive, for it will never come naturally to our flesh. Yet it is essential, and exactly in the image of God.

    Thanks, Blove. Great post.

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  4. Another very insighful, and thought provoking post.

    In tragic events like the fires in your country and 9/11 in mine almost everyones first thought is to be grateful to be alive.

    There will be anger and dispair but where people have faith they will get past these emotions and work at doing whatever is necessary to build the future.

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  5. That’s true Ed – When others ‘close’ to us, emotionally or in location only, have died while we live through the same event mostly people who live initially feel grateful for the fact.

    Some feel guilty – “Why them and not me – i’d rather they lived and i didn’t.”

    A very few get angry about what they lost – especially if they can blame the act on someone ( like Osama)

    And some can’t believe it happened.

    Rarely do they actually hold the attitude of Thankfulness for any great period of time – as we should if we are to follow Christ .

    But i was thinking in my post also of those who experience individual ‘tragedy’ – that to them may feel every bit as ‘devastating’ as what the fires and 9/11 survivors went through – and perhaps they have endured it for a lot longer than those actual events themselves lasted for ( of course the memories may never completely fade from mind)

    Say a divorce, a death, sexual assault, financial ruin.

    Many of us experience these things and come out the other side very well indeed and yet some would never think of being ‘Thankful in those times… as Annie pointed out IN them not necessarily For them.
    That our Spirit not ever be ‘Quenched or diminished from within us.

    That we gain strengths to cope through always possessing such an attitude.

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  6. Thanks appreciated, with Gratitude, BK 😉

    Tam – i’m still mulling the ‘in’ vs ‘for’ thing over… i’m not completely sure on that just yet…

    I rather think it has a lot to do with whom is being thanked and for what? Just what it is we are being appreciative of and how we express our gratitude – what our ‘reasoning’ is?

    watch this space…

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  7. Your statement here:
    “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 think that also ‘dovetails’ into:
    “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.”

    And because both, I believe, help us to ‘know Christ better in His sufferings’ (Phil. 3:10), we should actually be thankful FOR the trial because we might never become the person He desires us to be without it.
    It’s all about being ‘conformed to the image of Christ’ (Rom. 8:29) and ‘Father knows best’ how to accomplish that =)! I may smile now, knowing how it has helped me better relate to Him and others, but the ‘amputation’ is never ‘pleasant’ at the time – especially unanesthetized ={.

    Thanks for your insightful thoughts. I needed to be reminded of them again in this new way.

    D-

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  8. Laz – i’m ALWAYS glad to hear from you. Your wisdom invariably helps me understand more myself.

    ‘we should actually be thankful FOR the trial because we might never become the person He desires us to be without it.’

    That was exactly what i had wandering around inside but could not quite put my ‘finger’ on concerning being thankful ‘for’ as well as ‘in’.

    If we as Christians believe in the power and omniscience of God in our life then we should accept that He has a ‘hand’ in whatever comes our way in life – along our ‘Path’ and that He has a better view of what we truly need to face and deal with than we do.

    Accordingly – even when we only see ‘evil’ or ‘negativity’ from our perspective there is a reason we should still give thanks.

    If we are to become ‘whole’, Perfect, we are to know all things. Happiness and suffering, good times and bad… and be thankful for it all.

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  9. Laz – your last para ( but the ‘amputation’ is never ‘pleasant’ at the time – especially unanesthetized ={. ) reminded me – many many people try to anaesthatise themselves AFTER the ‘operation’, to ease the pain – with alcohol or other drugs.

    Very few of us ever develop the skill or strength to deal with it and learn from it with the tools we were born with…. and with the aid our fellow human beings could offer us, and take the ‘easy’ ( but longer term more painful ) option.

    Living from a place of permanent gratitude would help keep our Heart and Spirit ‘unquenched’ by the trials we have to face.

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