As we wake up in the morning with an energy to get after the day, we each have a pen in our hands to write out how we’re going to live that day. As we do so, we’re writing under one of two mindsets: we’re either writing a thank-you note back to God for what He’s done on Calvary or we’re writing a resume to prove our existence has value in this life.
Writing your own resume is going to slowly build pressure in your life; you’re building on a moving target which will never land somewhere good enough. But when you choose to use your life to write a thank-you note back to God, you’re sliding a note under His door each day saying, “God, I hope I pleased you yesterday with how I treated my family, the way I disciplined my daughter, the way I loved my wife, and the way I did my job.”
When we think about what we believe about God—that He’s always been and always will be in charge—resume-writing seems to be a silly existence, doesn’t it? If God knew each one of us before we were born, having mapped out a perfect and purposeful plan for our lives, why should we try to impart our own agenda?
When we realize we’re not meant to be in the resume-writing business, we allow ourselves to operate victory-minded. With this philosophy, no matter what we do each day, we are in the thank-you note business. As Christians, we know that not only are our thank-you notes addressed to and read by God, but they’re viewed by others as well.
Put your pen to paper as you go about your day—in your career, in your marriage, in the adversity, and in the successes you face today. You may be serving in a church, playing on a sports team, working in an office, or raising a family—wherever God has placed you for this time, He’ll give you a pen and paper to write with. Keep writing thank-you notes for as long as God has you on this assignment.
“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” —Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
We’ve been bought with a price—the blood of Christ—and there’s nothing we can do that’s more worthwhile than to tell Him thank you by our actions and words for the rest of our existence! Are we going to try to add to what Jesus did on the cross or are we going to rejoice in what He’s done and glorify Him through our lives?
Our society today has over-inflated the importance of our actions. We’ve taken too much credit for what we’ve done or are doing. But we have to recognize that there’s a movement down the scale from value to virtue, from virtue to character, and from character to action. You see, each action we take throughout the day is attached to a certain value we hold in our heart. We need to spend more time cultivating these values in our hearts so that our actions will flow from them.
Instead of focusing on specific actions today, focus on the virtues you want to cultivate. Maybe you’ll say, “How can I put myself in a position to practice more patience today?” Then when the opportunity presents itself, you can be ready to put that virtue to action. When you continue to practice these virtues, you’ll see the value in your actions for the long term.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” —Galatians 5:22-25 (ESV)
Fruit is not produced by a tree squeezing hard. Fruit is produced by the nutrients the roots take in. In the same way, we don’t focus on the tips of the branches to see how quickly the fruit grows, we make sure the roots are being fed the right nutrients to flourish. We can’t produce good fruit by simply trying really hard. We need to be connected to Christ daily, walking according to the Spirit rather than the flesh, and allow Him to produce good fruit in us.
What words are you going to write in your thank-you note? Slide them under God’s door, He’s waiting on the other side, ready to receive them. What do you have to offer Him today?
—Jack Easterby, Chaplain for the New England Patriots
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