June 23, 2017

Thoughts on Giving Thanks

There’s something special about this time of year, when so many people start meditating on everything they have to be thankful for. As Christians, we have an even greater reason to be people characterized by the habitual giving of thanks — not just for abundant physical blessings, but so many spiritual blessings too!

The blogosphere is teeming right now with various thoughts about practicing gratitude — from historical perspectives, to its uniqueness among Christians, and even some of its challenges. I hope you’ll take the time over the next few days to work through some of these links!

Give Thanks in All Circumstances

Why We Should Be Thankful for the Gift of Gratitude — Why is it so critical for Christians to practice gratitude? Here are three reasons the author considers it an “essential virtue for spiritual formation,” and three simple and practical ways to practice it on a daily basis.

Why Do We Give Thanks? — Here’s another perspective on why we, as Christians, ought to be known by our “gratitude attitudes.”  The command to give thanks is woven throughout the entire chapter of Ephesians 5. It’s not just a stand-alone command: it’s something that affects every aspect of our lives as Christians!

Celebrating Thanksgiving in an Increasingly Secular Age — Take some time to listen to this full 30-minute episode (perhaps while starting your baking for tomorrow?). You’ll find your perspective of Thanksgiving celebrations challenged and perhaps sharpened, as you consider how the day is viewed in our increasingly-secular society.

Look Through the Lens of Thanksgiving — An attitude of gratitude is born out of your perspective on life — the lens that you choose to look through. I love this perspective of how the Israelites, the Pilgrims, and the author actively and deliberately sought to look through the lens of thanksgiving even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Thanks for Everything? — Here’s some wisdom from a third-grader about what thankfulness is: “It’s when you don’t really like something, like your dinner, and your dad says that you should be thankful for it.” While the boy was probably remembering some distasteful meal, we as adults can certainly point to things on our “plates” in life that we’d rather not have . . . but that God says we should be grateful for anyway. I love how the author sums it up at the end!

Give Thanks for Common Mercies

Gratitude Brings Happiness — If you don’t feel happy, then you probably don’t feel grateful either. But have you ever realized that the simple act of giving thanks can multiply your happiness? That’s just one way gratitude is a wondrous gift of God’s grace! When we practice the giving of thanks to God, we find our thanksgivings multiplied and our hearts overwhelmed with gratitude.

Gratitude Makes All the Difference in Hitting Your Goals — Here are a few more ways we benefit from practicing gratitude on a daily basis. Even giving thanks for the “small things” that we see, taste, feel, and experience can affect our productivity, stress levels, and goal-striving.

Choosing Gratitude: Book Study — If you want something that lasts a little longer than just a long weekend, consider picking up Nancy DeMoss’ book Choosing Gratitude, and working through it with my week-by-week posts. Or go through the 30-day challenge in the back of the book. I guarantee, any of those options will change the way you think about gratitude!

 

Thoughts on Giving Thanks Happy Thanksgiving for all my American readers! 

For all my readers: I hope you enjoy a blessed season of thanksgiving, wherever you may live!