Food for Thought: What has happened to giving thanks?


By Beryl Williams

For the last week or so, I have been marinating over what I want to share about thankfulness.

I have personally seen that Thanksgiving has become a lot more about family and friends getting together over a great meal than it is about giving thanks. The concept of being thankful isn’t even something you hear much anymore! And, what has happened to the common courtesy of saying “Thank you” when someone does something nice? Horrifyingly, it doesn’t happen that much in this “entitled” world we are living in. Frankly, it grieves my heart.

And yet, in the Bible, we are encouraged to have a thankful heart. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18 (NIV) (Italics mine)

Then, I came across this in a devotional: “Research backs the idea that thankfulness and gratitude are good for the human soul. In fact, data cited in a Forbes article shows that gratitude promotes good manners, makes it easier to build new relationships, improves both physical and psychological health, and might even help you sleep better.”

I can believe that because I know how it makes me feel when I take a moment to consider what someone has done for me and then express gratitude. It warms my heart. It makes me feel cared for. Even if it is just someone holding the door open for me. I see it as a gesture of thoughtfulness and kindness, so, I say “Thank you!”

My point is that we should not only appreciate but also, express our gratitude for the consideration and acts of love and respect that others give. But even more importantly, above all else, we should recognize and treasure all that the Lord does for us. We should be moved to thank Him for every wonderful thing that happens to us or for us, because He is the Source of all good things. Just as it says in Psalm 9:1, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”

So, as we move into this month of thanksgiving, pay attention when nice things are done and say, “Thank you!” Whether it be your spouse vacuuming or doing dishes or giving you their undivided attention. If it is your children doing what you ask them to. Take a just a millisecond and say, “Thank you.” You will find that it contributes to warm and healthy relationships. And when you sit down to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal, why don’t you take a moment and go around the table and ask each person to share one thing they are thankful for. You just might be surprised by what you hear!

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