1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (HCSB)
1 Chronicles 16:34 – Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. (HCSB)
I was having coffee with my friends and listening to them tell about their plans for Thanksgiving. The thought came to me that when most people think of Thanksgiving, they think of weeks of preparation that concludes with a day of the family gathering to eat too much. Thanksgiving should be more than a day of eating; it should be a life of giving thanks with true gratitude. So many times “giving thanks” is a term used to describe a rote prayer said before meals, words recited quickly without meaning. My father prayed before every meal – to this day I have no clue as to what he said! True thanksgiving is true gratitude, and gratitude is actually good for us! Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy of Duke University, is quoted as saying “If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.” I read that researchers at Baylor University found that gratitude leads directly to feelings of satisfaction and wellbeing. I take that to mean that I need to wake up every morning being thankful, not that my life is perfect by earthly standards, not that I own more than enough possessions, not that I have all that I think I need but because I have decided to live out 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Focusing on what I don’t have leads to self-pity, resentment, and bitterness. Focusing on the blessings in my life leads to contentment, joy, and gratitude. I think of the Pilgrims and their hardships, yet they chose to give thanks. I heard someone say that we should not focus on the glass being half empty or half full; we should be thankful that we have a glass at all. Practicing gratitude doesn’t cost me anything but can make such a difference in my life. John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” Father, I just want to stop and say “thank You.” I pray that I will live out the gratitude I have to You and to others. Lord, I sincerely give thanks for all that I have and especially for the love You show to me every day.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in everything,for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (HCSB
My husband read somewhere that a husband should thank his wife for going out with him when they go to the movies or to a restaurant or whatever. Trust me, at our house he does not need to thank me for going out to eat! He may want to thank me for not running him over as I race to the car, but he doesn’t need to thank me for eating out. Let’s see — looking at a menu instead of planning a meal; telling someone what I want rather than having to cook it; walking away instead of washing dishes – I’m good, no thanks necessary! As I’m enjoying my cup of coffee this morning and remembering last night’s dinner out, I begin to think about the idea of giving thanks. Some people are really good about sending thank you notes, some just don’t do it. It is embarrassing and frustrating to me when I need to know if a gift was received and am forced to ask! I have a friend who believes that if anyone gives her a gift of any kind, it is because God laid it on that person’s heart, so she never thanks the giver for they were just doing what God told them to do. True, but a little thanks goes a long way and people want to feel appreciated. Do You feel that way about Your people, Lord? You bless us in so many ways everyday, and we take the blessing and walk away without even a thought of thanksgiving and no mention of appreciation. Psalm 107:1 says to give thanks to You because You are so good to us, but are we being like those people who irritate us because their lack of acknowledgement seems to dismiss our gift? Luke 17:11-19 tells us about ten lepers. Am I more like the nine who walked away with my blessing or the one who gave thanks? Psalm 105: 1-2 tells us to not only give thanks to You but to tell people how wonderful You are. Do I tell everyone I see about a nice gift a person gave me but keep silent about the amazing gifts from You? Lord, I come before You today giving thanks for all of the ways You bless me and giving special thanks for the gift of Your Son. Today as I enjoy the gift of life, I will not only give thanks to You but also tell of Your wonderful greatness.