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The importance of giving thanks

Dr. Joreatha M. Capers | 10/31/2013, 9 a.m.

Ever wondered what happened to please and thank you? There appears to be a spirit of entitlement that has crept into our midst, much like the voracious, creepy, crawly, kudzu vine swept across the South; so much so that it has earned the nickname of “the vine that ate the south.” This noxious parasite climbs over trees and shrubs so rapidly; it kills them by completely blocking out the light.

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Joreatha M. Capers

That is almost the same effect of rudeness, a lack of gratitude and a demanding attitude that seems to say, you owe me! Such attitudes and ungratefulness block the light

Growing up, we were taught that please and thank you were magical words which we should never forget.

The word of God emphasizes the importance of giving thanks and being thankful.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) Oddly enough, even the most thankful person might find it difficult to give thanks in the midst of despair, darkness and disappointment.

“When things get tough the tough often get going.”

However, giving thanks to God for who God is and all that God has done creates an atmosphere that ushers in the light.

Light that illumines the darkness. Light that has the potential of changing our perspective while regulating our emotional barometer. Light that can serve as an antidote, stronger than any vaccine created by humankind.

Thanksgiving is praise. And praise is worship. And worship changes the atmosphere. Lyricist, William Murphy, said it this way: “Praise is what I do. Even when I’m going through, I’ve learned to worship you. Though my circumstance doesn’t stand a chance, my praise outweighs the bad.”

Go ahead. Try it. Say it and believe in your heart that whatever the circumstance, God is still in control . . . an omnipotent, all powerful God, very capable of bringing our out-of-control feelings into captivity. This too shall pass. Give thanks.

Dr. Joreatha M. Capers is the senior pastor of Ebenezer United Methodist Church located at 2001 NW 35th Street in Miami and has served there for the past eight years.