Power for Today

A Revealing Game

Ephesians 5 (NIV)

Covetousness must not even be named among you . . . instead let there be thanksgiving (Ephesians 5:4, RSV)

WHEN OUR daughter was in high school, she and her father attended a party where they played a game trying to guess how the other would answer. While her father was out of the room, she was asked what character trait he would say was most important. Without hesitating she said, "Gratitude." When her father was asked the same question he answered, "Gratitude." How could she answer so readily? Throughout her childhood, gratitude was modeled and taught- she was trained to be thankful- that's why.
Our scripture today speaks of much impurity and covetousness, but admonishes by stating, "Let there be thanksgiving." So, thankfulness prevents covetousness, perhaps by acknowledging our gratefulness. Is being grateful a character trait that does not come naturally or easily? Apparently, because we are admonished to encourage others in gratitude and, as the scripture further states, "do not associate with them" who lack character. We can join those with a spirit of ingratitude, or we can encourage thanksgiving by modeling and verbalizing our own.
If you played the same game with someone who knew you well, what would they answer? What character trait is most important?

Dearest Father, we give You thanks. In Christ. Amen.
- SUSAN K. GIBONEY, Malibu, California