Our theme for 2020 is “RECOGNIZE THE GOOD”. This slogan is also a Hebrew definition for “gratitude”. In our fallen condition, we find it easier to recognize the bad while ignoring the good at home, work, and church. There is a reason why the nightly news and the morning paper usually lead with something “bad”. It is what we prefer to consume. Messed up, right? What would happen if we improved our ability to recognize the good without ignoring or pretending like evil doesn’t exist? I predict it will increase our faith, improve our mental health, and produce contentment. Addicts will experience greater sobriety and married couples greater joy. The work-place environment will thrive, and the church will explode with praise. But don’t take my word for it. Begin to recognize the good wherever you are and take note of what happens inside of you!
Our memory verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 promises to encourage us each day. “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Notice the apostle Paul didn’t write “for”, but “in”. There’s a huge difference between the two. As we maneuver through the storms and routines of life, God believes there is always something to be thankful for. God doesn’t need our thanks, but God believes we need to give thanks for our own benefit. Gratitude is essential to human flourishing and it cannot be done until we “RECOGNIZE THE GOOD”!