To say that Australian culture is constantly evolving is understated. Especially since Australia is a multicultural society with the influence of migrant peoples as well as the influence of popular cultures through various media from all over the world. One example that’s been evident over the last several years is the observance by many Aussie kids of ‘Trick-or-Treating’ during the American celebration of Halloween. This was not part of Australian culture in yesteryear but I myself have recently been subjected to door knocking children wearing fancy dress.
While I am not against adopting and borrowing certain customs from others (provided they don’t contradict Christianity), if I had to choose one in particular, I would opt for ‘Thanksgiving Day’. I think this special day would not only bring families and friends together but it serves a reminder of the timeless and Biblical principle of Gratefulness.
Gratitude, or Thankfulness, was so important that God instituted a ‘Thanksgiving Offering’ in the Old Testament which involved a sacrifice (Lev 7:12-15). The Apostle Paul tells us that we are to abound in Thanksgiving and that our prayers should be accompanied with it. He further reveals that we are not to be filled with worry but instead a better substitute is gratefulness.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Get into the habit of whenever you feel discouraged about your situation and feel as though you are lacking, begin to think about the things that you do possess and thank God for it. When you do, it’s amazing how your perspective and even your feelings start to change. When Matthew Henry was robbed, he was quoted as saying these words; “I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.”
That’s a great perspective and a winning outlook – while some may be able to find the negative in every situation and criticise somebody’s faults, the greater option is to find the good in everyone and everything and be thankful for it.
This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.