Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. -Psalm 100:4
Our immediate family seems to be made up of individuals with extraordinary strength of character. Each person is a strong, independent creature with ideas all his own. As our family circle widens, it reveals more of the same! Grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, and in-laws all seem incompatible, yet are called by God to love and understand each other. That annual family reunion can be quite a challenge, can’t it?
In Old Testament times, thank offerings always were connected with communal affairs and usually were made at their culmination. Perhaps God knew the problems that would arise at Christmas, Thanksgiving, twenty-fifth wedding anniversaries, christenings, or graduations! Maybe he knew he would have to command us to be thankful if he ever was going to see us appreciate each other.
It really helps to face an ornery relative and have to search our minds for something to give thanks about! It helps to talk to a difficult cousin and have to apologize to her for some misunder-standing or another. I can always thank God for my growth in humility because of that!
Whenever you face a difficult relative, try a thank offering. Don’t let anyone go home without knowing how thankful you are for them. And remember, thank offerings and peace offerings go together! Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath without having made a peace offering on the altar of your pride. Such offerings bring to God the smell of a sweet savor.
For Further Study: Psalm 100:1-5
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.