Nov. 28, 2013 Civility in Xian Scripture
November 28: Civility can grow from deep gratitude.
Colossians 3:15, “And be thankful.”
And be thankful. I’ve always liked the way that St. Paul would throw that in here and there, and he does it often. He does in his letter the Colossians in chapter 2 as well, speaking of being rooted and grown up in Christ he adds an “and be thankful” for good measure in verse 7.
When our passage ended with those words yesterday I knew I’d have to come back and use them again. I don’t think St. Paul scatters them around without intention and meaning… I think he sows his letters with the seeds of gratefulness hoping for a nice harvest in the lives of his readers!
I believe that thankfulness, or gratefulness, or gratitude, whichever word we choose, is a seriously underrated theme in scripture and a solid foundation for civility. Ingratitude and being unthankful leads to a lot of harshness in our words and missed opportunities to build one another up. St. Ignatius said, “I think that that ingratitude is at the root of all sinfulness.” Amen. I’m declaring him the patron saint of our Thanksgiving this year and including a painting of him I made a couple of years ago. =)
Be grateful! Be joyous! Love with gusto!