Are Your Relationships Silver or Gold?

The Role of Thankfulness in Relationships

For the most part, my time spent in the Girl Scouts exists in my memory as a huge disaster. I’ll spare you the details and just tell the one positive I remember related to this short song learned in Girl Scouts so many years ago.

Silver & gold

As friendships change and grow with the seasons of life, marking each one with value and purpose helps appreciate the always fluctuating nature of relationships. In recent years, teaching this principle to my boys helps them as they transition into adulthood and see their own relationships impacted accordingly.

Realizing that relationships really reflect the stages of our lives helps understand their role in life’s seasons. But more importantly, our relationships provide the medium through which we express the love within us that grows out from our relationship with Christ as He continually develops our new natures. As we practice Making Allowances, learn to Love Others AS Ourselves, apply Wisdom in Relationships and Dress for Success in Relationships, we reflect the increasing love of our continually renewing relationship with Christ.

This understanding cultivates thankfulness for every relationship, however brief, experienced through the years. And that thankfulness creates a tie that truly does bind.

Tied by Thankfulness

Thankfulness unifies. As we read through Colossians 3, noting where thankfulness is mentioned, it seems clear that thankfulness seems to describe a characteristic of all the “clothing” talked about in this scripture.

Colossians 3:15-17 especially gets at the role of thankfulness in our New Nature Relationships.

Thankful

Every time we’re told to live out our new natures, a call to thankfulness is also issued. This tells us that not only do we need to take off the clothing of our old nature (v. 9) and put on the clothing of our new nature (v. 10), we are to also demonstrate thankfulness while we live lives where the love of Christ flows out from within us into our New Nature Relationships.

DISCUSSION: How can we infuse our New Nature Relationships with thankfulness?

20 thoughts on “Are Your Relationships Silver or Gold?

  1. Loved this post, Kari. Thankfulness, I believe, kinda fertilizes the seed of joy. It's amazing how powerful a practice it is and how much its presence or absence can shape our attitudes and habits of thought. I think when we focus on what isn't rather than what is, we trick ourselves into believing that life's fullness is somehow wrapped up in what we don't have. The truth is life's fullness is wrapped up in Jesus and usually what we need is to get more wrapped up in Him. Like you say, it's definitely a discipline, something we need to be intentional about, but man is it worth it.

    • Great list, Deb. Being thankful for the hardships is SO important because it shows we recognize that God uses them, turns them for good. It turns focus on Him instead of the struggle.

  2. Kari,
    I think being thankful is an antidote for depression. It helps us to move the focus off of ourselves if we look for those things we should be thankful for.

    • I know for sure that being thankful keeps me from revising the pit of depression. When I was severely depressed, I couldn't see my way to thankfulness on my own. I needed help. I rejected much of the help, but looking back, it was still a helpful part of getting out of the pit. Good point!

  3. When a situation is especially troubling to me, one thing I like to do is to go through Phil 4:8 and pray about the situation using this verse. Sometimes it can be hard to list what is pure, noble, right and so on about a certain event, but God helps me and as I pray using this verse as a guide, my heart begins to change toward the situation and I find I can be thankful and even joyous and peaceful.
    Only God can bring this change about in me. It's not in me to do it on my own.

    • What a terrific example of praying through Scripture & how it truly does change a person's heart. And, from experience, we both know that change can come even when we resist it or think it's impossible. Just the act of reading Scripture does it… amazing.

  4. I keep a thankfulness journal. It helps me remember when times get rough all the blessings I have. It is easy to forget to say THANK YOU just for being a friend, for hanging in there with me, but I am getting better at it.
    Indeed we are told over and over to be thankful, even when we don’t see why or how God is working in us or through something we are enduring. But it sure helps to look for something to be thankful for.
    Last week we had a short week, but when we went north on Sunday night we saw how bad the weather had been where we were to have gone and were thankful to have been home and not stuck out on the road. At the time being thankful was hard, but in the end it was a good thing. That happens so often! God is always working for our best.
    Thanks Kari for all the wonderful posts on relationship this month. They have been a blessing.

    • You're right. Taking the time to slow down and even stop regularly to assess our blessings, to recognize areas of gratitude, will make a tremendous difference in improving relationships.

  5. I have friends come and go. Some I am sad to leave behind. Some just drift away. Some stick with me all my life and those I really treasure. I have different circles — work, church, neighborhood — and each of those circles has different friends. Same values, but different goals. I am grateful for them all.

    • Great way to say it, "same values, but different goals." All of our friends have worth and value for our lives, but not all of our friendships have the same goals. Being grateful for them all realizes this.

  6. I'm still here – newer, but solidly here. I like what David (and all the others) have said. It having been (and still will be for a little while yet) a season of medical appointments and waiting on answers, as well as having hyper-extended myself, I'm just now getting back out and about the circuit I once looped through speedily, daily. To borrow a line from an old song "I'll be there – I'll be around."
    My recent post The More Things Change

  7. Something that is hard for many of us to do is to communicate our thankfulness to our individual family and friends. I for one don't do it often enough. What if we simply said, "Thank you for being such a good friend to me."

    When God brings someone to our minds, it is a great practice to write a note, text, or call them. I recently reached out to a friend I hadn't talked to in a while, and he was walking through some family health issues. I believe we both have encouraged each other in recent days.
    My recent post Two Keys to Building Successful Relationships

    • Great advice, Chris. We need to jump into action when someone comes to mind like this, even if it's putting a reminder in our phones to contact them later. Imagine how our relationships would be if we communicated thankfulness more! The other day, my husband said to me, "Thank you for being you." Those words encouraged me more than anything he could do for or say to me. Let's purpose to follow through on this.

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