Thanking God for Others

28 Jan


Photo by mensatic on Morgue File.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from the person you’re the closest to?

I have learned these prompts are not tailored to introverts! Of course, I guess there is only so many prompts you can give asking what you like to do when you are alone, or how many books you have read or why you do not like going to parties!

As an introvert, along with other aspects of my personality, I am a conscientious observer. As I have said in many posts, I listen far more than I speak. I see. I observe. I notice. I may never say a single thing about any of it; but, that does not mean I am not aware of it. Even if I avoid the topic, it still does not mean I do not know about it. Sometimes, in fact, it may be because I know about it that I would just as soon move on to something else; something new, something uncovered.

As an observer, I pick up on things in people; in their actions and moods. I was speaking to someone this morning and made a comment about them, something I had heard them say and they were in disbelief that I remembered that small detail. What I have found, however, is that even the smallest of details can open up a world of truth.

So, I learn constantly from others. I have learned how to interact socially with others, though I am a helpless introvert. I have learned how to allow myself to feel my emotions more, thanks to my wife. I am still, by no stretch of the imagination, an emotional type. I still hold far more in than I let out; but, I do allow myself the time to feel it, or at least, I pay more attention to those feelings now. I think my daughters have greatly helped me in this area as well. There is something about being a father that warms your heart and allows you to let the defenses down.

I have learned grace and peacefulness from others. I have learned kindness and generosity. I have learned humility and love. There is so much you can glean from others; so much they can teach you, if you will only observe it.

I am thankful for the people who God has blessed me with in my life. Even those who, from time to time, annoy me or bother me. I confess that many times I am probably the one with the problem, not them. I am thankful for the things God has taught me through others: the lessons I have learned from them, whether good or bad. There have been many lessons I have learned second-hand, that thankfully, I did not have to learn first-hand.

Yes, experience is a great teacher, but sometimes it is overplayed. I do not have to experience being hit by a locomotive to know it will hurt. I do not need to experience an F-5 tornado to know it will be extremely loud and windy! In fact, in both cases and many others, I would just as soon take someone else’s word for it!

Wisdom is, partly, being able to learn the lessons of others, without having to repeat them yourself.

I am currently leading a Wednesday night bible study at my local church through the book of Colossians. In verse three of the first chapter, Paul tells the believers in Colossae that he thanks God for them. I researched it and noticed Paul does this in almost all of his letters. He tells the recipients that he is thankful to God, not just for God’s grace and love or the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ, (though of course Paul would have been infinitely thankful for all of these), but even more specifically, he is thankful for them!

God taught me something through that, which I shared with the congregation. We too should be thankful for others. We too should thank God for the people he puts in our lives to encourage and teach us. We should, following the example of the apostle Paul, thank God regularly for them. There are great blessings to be mined here. We just need to take the time to notice them and be grateful for them.

Do you thank God for those in your life? No, not just family, but for friends and fellow believers? I think this should be a regular part of our life of thanksgiving.

God’s grace and goodness are evident all around us; if we will only take the time to notice.


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8 responses to “Thanking God for Others

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