The Jar of Thanks – October’s Orange Idea

2Westminster’s “Orange Idea” is a monthly, family-friendly, 1-page resource to help you live out your faith at home. But what is “Orange,” you might ask?

Well, it’s not just a colour—it’s a way of thinking: Yellow represents the light of Jesus shared by the church. Red represents the blood and bond of the family. So when you put Yellow and Red together you get… Orange!

So an “Orange idea” is when the church helps people live out their faith in their families and homes. After all, the home is the primary place where faith is formed.

So this monthly resource will help people of different ages learn about and live out their Christian faith in tangible, practical ways.

Here’s October’s Orange Idea: Grow your gratitude with a Jar of Thanks.

It works great with young children; but it also works well with older kids.

There are a zillion Bible passages that talk about gratitude. And since it’s October (the month of Canadian Thanksgiving), what better time to focus on gratitude?

Plus, there’s this: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” James 1:17 (NIV) What a great reminder of how God continually gives us good gifts.

Not only does the Bible remind us to be thankful for all the good gifts God gives us, but gratitude also improves how we see the world. A Jar of Thanks to help us do just that.

Here’s what to do:

Together, make and decorate a Jar of Thanks to grow your gratitude. (Or, you could use a can or box.) Each day in October, write down one thing (either as a family or as individuals) that you are thankful for and put it in.

Then, at the end of the month open your Jar of Thanks and read all of the wonderful gifts that you’ve been given over the month.

Here are some helpful tips:

  1. For young children, you may need to remind them about all the wonderful things that happened during the day and have them choose one. (Or, if they have many, why not write them all down?)
  2. When picking your container, take into consideration the age of your children. Glass may not be the best choice.
  3. Decorate your Jar of Thanks using markers and stickers. Feel free to be creative. You want everyone to have a sense of ownership with it. Why not put on things that God has created for us like rainbows, flowers, the sun, etc?
  4. In your evening prayers remind each other about the wonderful things from the day and how “every good and perfect gift is from above.” God loves, cares, and provides for us!

If your children are a bit older, this can be a great opportunity for deeper conversations. You can talk about how even difficult experiences can be occasions for gratitude. For example, even though you didn’t like being sick, you were grateful for good health. Or maybe you talked about someone behind their back (or someone talked about you behind yours), and the fallout made you realize how thankful you are for honesty in friendship.

Opportunities for gratitude are everywhere.

In October, grow your gratitude with the Jar of Thanks.


The “Orange Philosophy” is most clearly set out in Reggie Joiner’s book, Think Orange

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