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  • Writer's pictureMark Alan Williams

Thanksgiving - A Most Important Attitude

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Years ago I began to start each day by writing on my computer things that I am thankful for. So each day I add to the list. That list has grown to over 23,000 items so far. Many are repeated—I have thanked God for my wife and family many, many times. Other items are unique to each day. What they are is not important. What is most important is what thankfulness does to please God and what it does in my heart.

CC Image courtesy of DVIDSHUB on Flickr

Here in the USA, and in some other countries, we are blessed to have a holiday designated for Thanksgiving.

As a Bible believing Christian, it seems to me that this might be the most important holiday of all. Why? Well, let’s consider some alternatives:

  • St. Patrick’s Day: Nice to honor this great missionary to Ireland, but probably not as important, wouldn’t you agree?

  • Independence Day: I am totally grateful for my country, but I’m not sure this is as important as giving thanks to God on Thanksgiving Day—something God has told us repeatedly to do.

  • Easter: This is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection is the focal point of the Christian faith since Christ died for sins and then overcame death and sin when He rose from the grave. But still, many are simply caught up in Easter bunnies and candy—so the holiday tends to lose its significance.

  • Christmas: if Jesus hadn’t come to earth, he wouldn’t have died for our sins and rose again. However, nowhere in Scripture are we told specifically to celebrate His birth. However we are told to give thanksgiving to God.

Thanksgiving is a holiday with the focus on doing something that God has clearly told us to do: giving thanks.

What does the Bible say?

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20 New Living Translation)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 New International Version)

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17 New International Version)

So we know giving thanks pleases God because it is clearly commanded in Scripture.

But we can give thanks also for what it does in our own hearts:

  • Giving thanks makes me begin each day focusing on blessings instead of burdens.

  • It helps me set my mindset in the right, positive, praising uplifting direction.

  • It reminds me that yesterday’s difficulties are often overcome—sometimes in very big ways.

My challenge to you:

On Thanksgiving Day, if you have this holiday where you live, use it to actually thank God for specific blessings. Don’t just enjoy the Thanksgiving feast. Talk about and tell God what you are thankful for. Make a game of it. Keep a record and read the list year after year.

On normal days, be sure to enter every day thanking God for your many, many blessings.

No matter your situation, you have blessings:

  • Spiritual blessings: If you are a Christian, they are out of this world.

  • Family blessings: If you are alive, someone cared enough to care for your every need for years. In most of our cases, we were and are loved far beyond the necessities of life. Your family is not perfect—no family is. So thank God for the good parts.

  • Governmental blessings: I hope you are living in a country where there is some measure of governmental protection and freedom. If you are, then you can be thankful, as I am, for a government that is not perfect, but provides great blessings.

  • Social blessings: Do you have friends? Thank God for them. If not, maybe this article can help.

  • Vocational blessings: If you have a job and it supports your needs, you are blessed.

  • Recreational blessings: What do you do for fun and recreation? Thank God for it.

  • Financial blessings: The fact that you are reading this article means you are “wealthy” enough to have access to electronic devices and likely many other resources. Give thanks.

  • Physical blessings: You might have physical challenges large or small. But if you can see, thank God for the miracle of sight. If you can hear, thank God that you can do so. If you can walk, be thankful that you are still mobile.

There is perhaps no more powerful attitude than an “attitude of gratitude.” Let’s take advantage of this powerful attitude today and every day.

My eBook “10 Prayers to Unlock Heaven on Earth” has a whole chapter on thanking prayers. Get a free copy HERE when you become a blog subscriber.

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