Go Beyond Being Thankful


The years of 2009-2011 will probably be etched in my mind forever. During those years while working as a recreation director I often heard and at times was even told to be thankful I had a job because so many others were without employment. I certainly understand the sentiment behind it. 

Then, in 2011, I had a staff meeting one morning where that sentiment was shared yet again, but it didn’t have the same “feel” to it. It was as though what was being said was, “Quit trying to excel or get ahead, or expect something better, or have hope.” I took it like he was saying this is your lot in life, just accept it. “Hey, you have a job and that’s good enough.” It just didn’t sit well with me. And to be perfectly honest, just having a job was not good enough for me. 

Don’t get me wrong. I was thankful for having a job as opposed to not having one, but simply having a job didn’t mean I couldn’t hope for something better. In fact, in order to take care of my family, I had to have something more- more income. Despite going bankrupt my income was still not enough to meet our needs. 

Of course, I’m not saying to be thankless. We need to be thankful. And if you are reading this you have much to be thankful for. You obviously have access to the internet or at the very least are alive. What I am saying is never let being “thankful” be the reason you lose hope for a better and brighter future. Never let someone’s advice to simply “be thankful” to become a cop-out for living a life of mediocrity or complacency. 

The apostle Paul said, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” That’s where most people leave their lives. “Hey, I know how to live in the good times and bad times. Whatever comes, comes. Que sera, sera. What will be will be. Don’t try to be better or have a better life, just be thankful with what you’ve got.”

But Paul didn’t leave it there. His very next statemtent is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He was living a life of extraordinary purpose. In a time with no automobiles, planes, trains, cell phones, electricity, or even a postal service, he led the charge in helping the entire region of Asia to be reached with the gospel in two years. Paul didn’t allow being content and thankful for the blessings in his life to cause him to back off the purpose for his life. He maintained the right attitude and perspective in his quest to fulfill his destiny. 

So how about you? Does your “thankfulness” for the blessings in your life propel you on to greater accomplishments and purposes with your life? And if you are truly thankful for what God has blessed you with, how are you showing it? How is your thanksgiving being demonstrated? 

We truly do have much to be thankful for. At the very least, even if we have lost all but are alive, be thankful. For in our DNA, God has given us the ability to do great and mighty things. But simply being thankful for that is not enough. We must take our thankfulness and allow it to be fuel that we burn propelling us towards our purpose. 

Don’t settle. Don’t think mediocrity and living average is glorifying to God. He made us to soar. He made us to achieve mighty things. He made us to have dominion in life. I’m thankful for that. Therefore I will do what He created me to do, because that is the best way to show my thankfulness. 



About Bryan Vashus

I am passionate about living a life of purpose. There is a purpose in being a spouse, a parent, a leader, and a person. I live in such a way as to fulfill the purpose in each area of my life and help others do the same. I have an amazing wife, Courtnee, who shares in this pursuit with me, two children, Hannah and Joshua, who bring immeasurable amounts of joy to my life. My family is united together in truly helping people and impacting them with the grace and love of God everywhere we go.
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