Let Me Count The Ways

It was Mark Twain who openly admitted, “I can go for three months on one good compliment”  which proves the point well that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Keep that in mind this Thanksgiving as you gather with family and friends, and let’s not miss the chance to bless others with our words. Just as important as it is to be thankful for the people in our lives, articulating why we are in a sincere way is just as important as it reenforces our gratitude, “I am thankful for you and here are the reasons why.”

The apostle Paul not the apostle John is the true apostle of love and for good reason. A Christianity Today article communicates the point, “Most Christians would, for example, unhesitatingly call John “the Apostle of love.” But Paul used the word agape, “love,” 75 times, while it is found in John’s Gospel only 7 times, with a further 18 in First John. True, John uses the corresponding verb more often than Paul (36 times as against 33), but Paul has an emphasis on love that ought not to be overlooked. He, not John, wrote First Corinthians 13, and the importance of love pervades all his writings. He addresses people as “beloved” 27 times (next are II Peter and I John, each with 6). He is fond of the word “brother” (133 times, with Acts next at 57).

I think most would agree that hearing, “I’m thankful for you” on Thanksgiving or any day for that matter means so much to us is because just like in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem “How do I love thee” she followed it up with the all important, “let me count the ways.” Don’t just say thank you this Thanksgiving to the people you are thankful for, make sure you count the ways and let them know.  

“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers”

Ephesians 1:15–16

I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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