If you want to change someone’s perspective, teach them how to be thankful. It’s not just good advice for shaping a positive attitude but it is something the bible instructs us to do. You will find dozens and dozens of verses about the benefits of thankfulness but one of my favorites is in the New Testament.
Colossians 3:15-17 says, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Such wonderful advice for humanity! Since the much of our nation’s focus is on the Thanksgiving holiday right now, teach kids about the above mentioned benefits of thankfulness. I plan on presenting thankfulness journals to my kids. They are easy to make and who knows? I might encourage a child or two to keep recording their blessings after this fun exercise is over. Here’s what I do:
When my class is small, I buy mini journals from the dollar store. If I have a bunch of kids, I make journals by cutting blank paper into four equal squares. I print covers and staple them on to a stack of 1/4 page sheets. The journals don’t have to be thick, just provide enough paper for the children to keep records for a week.
Sometime during class, I ask the kids to go ahead and write the first entry. I don’t want to make it seem like homework so I encourage them to just write down a few words to describe what they are thankful for. Then I tell them if they do that every day and bring it back to me next Sunday, I will have a special prize for them or they will get a turkey stamp. It helps to call kids during the week and remind them to journal. If they lose their journal, tell them to write it down on a sheet of paper and bring it in for their prize or stamp.
When you come together again, talk about what you entered in the journal. What were they thankful for and how did it make them feel? End the session by offering a prayer of thanks to God who gave us all those wonderful things! Happy Thanksgiving!
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Tools for Kids Church.