Read: Ephesians 5:15-21
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (NIV Ephesians 5:15-21)
Study: In the Roman Empire, as today, too many people tried to numb themselves against life’s hurts with alcohol and other addictions. The letter to the Ephesians said psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, and always giving thanks to God were a much better alternative, with better life results. The Message paraphrased verses 18-19 this way: “Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs!” Can gratitude to God not just numb life’s hurts, but move you beyond them? Might gratitude even be habit-forming? Have you ever experienced gratitude’s life-enriching power? What are some benefits of replacing destructive behaviors with a “gratitude habit”?
Pray: Lord Jesus, I choose to live wisely, not foolishly. Help me set aside any hurtful behaviors, and gratefully imbibe “huge draughts” of your Spirit. Amen.