Overflowing with Thankfulness
Delivered By
Pastor David
Delivered On
November 1, 2015

I hate organ recitals. Not the pipe organs kind, but the tongue kind: "How are you today, Gladys?" "Terrible, just terrible? Did I tell you about my gall bladder acting up?" "Yes, Gladys."

She doesn't seem to acknowledge my, "Yes," but launches into a full-scale report on gall bladders around the world, and hers in particular. When she sees my eyes beginning to glaze over, Gladys falters for a just a moment. She knows she has to switch gears quickly to keep me from nodding off. "And I have this terrible skin rash that drives me so crazy, that I can't sleep at night." I am trying hard to be polite. "Oh, I’m sorry."

I attempt to stop myself, but it is too late. The ill-fated word has crossed my lips - "sorry,"- and now I have fed Gladys her first morsel of real food for the day. She seems to take new energy, and as she describes her itching, I begin to sense little crawling things in my scalp. I unconsciously reach up to scratch my head, but nothing gets by Gladys. "Oh, that's the first sign," she begins.

You've met Gladys, haven't you? The real name might be a little different. Gladys goes under a number of aliases or other disguises, but it's the same complaining, self-centered woman (or man).

Too often, however, I meet Gladys in me. I want people to sympathize with me, so when something is going wrong…and when doesn't it…I begin to complain: the Tigers (or Gamecocks) are having a bad season, the morals of our nation are terrible, the debates and upcoming election are depressing, the desire to compromise the Bible continues to grow, I never have time for myself (and other similar things). When I dwell on the interior like a sick Gladys, normal complaining comes all too easily to my lips.

So when I read Colossians 2:6-7 it hits home…"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness" (NIV). There is one phrase that really hits home, "overflowing with thankfulness." It begins to repeat itself over and over in my mind.

"Overflowing!" Some translations say "abounding." It brings the mental picture of the Thanksgiving cornucopia spilling out an abundant harvest blessing. Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." Whoa! What in the world is in my heart? Is it complaining, selfishness, pride...or is there Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is the mark of a Christian, because thanksgiving points out and up while my complaining points only back to me and feeds my pride and dissatisfaction. Thanksgiving towards God and man fits the Great Commandment like a glove, (to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself ). What better vehicle than thankfulness to express love?

The Pillsbury Doughboy has that endearing quality that when you poke him, he doesn't flare up mad but automatically responds in a friendly, perky way! I want to be like him. Not so plump, mind you, but so full of joy that when someone pokes me, I want my first instinct to be thankfulness rather than being like Gladys. I want people to find thankfulness oozing out of me. I want thanksgiving to mark my conversation and manner. In fact, I want to abound with, be full, and overflow with thankfulness. This Thanksgiving, I pray that we will all be "overflowing with thanksgiving" (and not just turkey).

Growing in Thankfulness … Pastor David.