Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The "Blessing in Thanksgiving"

Each time I sit down to write a  post, I pray for God to lead me to the scripture He has for me and you. He led me to James today. Thanksgiving is this weekend; A time for family and friends to gather and "Be Thankful". This is a passage I may not have connected with "thanksgiving", so let's see what is here for us on this timely topic.

Version: RSV
James 3:9-12

9. With it (our mouth) we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. 10. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so. 11. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening fresh water and brackish? 12. Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

In the morning how do you wake up? Are you at peace and ready to start the day...or are you agitated at all that needs to be accomplished? Maybe you're heading for the coffee like I do, to try to get my eyes open and my brain kick started. So again, how do you wake up? Or maybe we should even take this one step further: "how do you sleep"? Do you toss and turn and lay awake at night thinking of all the things that are needing to be done, worrying, making plans, making decisions? It can translate into our waking hours and affect our day. Then after a while it affects our personality.

Let's say that our mouth has a lot to do with our outlook on life; how we think of ourselves, others, and the future.  I can be just as negative as the next guy (or gal). Griping and complaining are an easy trap to fall into. Money, health, family relationships, jobs, the future. Especially if there are matters at hand that we feel pressure over; maybe something that we don't have much control over. It weighs on us and seems to feed itself every time we open our mouths.

OK, people I'm preaching to myself here. Feel free to take what you need from this, I guess God has been needing to speak this to me. Anyone else feel free to grab on. Let's look at the scripture verses and think about these two words, Blessing and Cursing. The word blessing comes from the Greek word, eulogia, which means blessing, praise, thanksgiving, flattery and generosity. This is the word "eulogy" comes from. which we think of as a short speech or written statement at a funeral concerning the life of a person. Only good things here. We don't want to concentrate on the bad. And then the word cursing,  katargeo, which means to speak against, contrary to, in opposition with, negativity, making ineffective, to nullify.

Now when it comes to the scripture, it says we are speaking both things out of our mouths. Positive and negative, good and bad, building up and tearing down. I guess we know the old saying "if you don't have something good to say then don't say anything at all". I've always thought that to be sort of "fakey" and pie in the sky, but I realize it is more of a "lifestyle" than just pertaining to gossip or individual circumstances. I'm not suggesting here that we go coo coo and wander around with some silly grin on our faces, but more like I said; Thinking in terms of the positive and not the negative.

So if the word Blessing also means "thanksgiving" I guess I need to concentrate on the Blessing part; Recognizing them, focusing on them, thanking God for them everyday (not just one day a year). Speaking out of my mouth encouragement, not only to others, but to my own self.

Philippians 4:4-7

4. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. 6. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It's hard sometimes to be thankful, When things aren't the way you want them to be it's easy to be negative and down. In all things we are to be thankful, whatever situation or circumstance. Not thankful for the circumstance, but thankful that God is our Father and that if we ask Him, He will be in control of it. Working it out for our benefit. Prayer accompanied by a thankful heart can move mountains.

So this week when we stuff our mouths with some delicious food, let's also all be aware of another purpose for our mouths. The generation of speech and praise, thanksgiving and blessing. Turning our lives over to God and believing in Him for the blessing He has for us!

much love in Jesus,


  1. thanks Debbie...I needed to hear this today ... even more intentional today in fixing my eyes on Him:)

  2. Hi Debra, the book of James is where the practical life is really discussed. I read it often. How many times have I done just what those first verses said. To control the tongue is a life long mission. Instead to offer thanksgiving more often should be my goal. Thanks you for this timley study my dear friend. ♥t

  3. I love this! What a great reminder. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thank you Debra, I needed this post today.

  5. Thank you, Debra. As I begin my Thanksgiving day, I need this reminder to speak blessings. I'm going to try to keep this verse in mind all day!!

  6. Brings to mind how powerful are the words that come out of our mouth. "In the beginning....God said, Let there be light: and there was light....". God spoke this world into being! Words are very powerful! Let them be a blessing.


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