Thanksgiving Day is a favorite holiday for most Americans. It is loved by most because it involves copious amounts of really good food, desserts, football games and a little wine. Of course, for some of us, it also means dealing with family members like crazy Uncle Ralph or siblings that are on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Still, most of us take the long view and are wise enough to sidestep contentious issues and enjoy a holiday that is centered around giving thanks. Why? Because giving thanks feels good.
But gratitude and giving thanks reveal more about us and our hearts than we probably realize. The “attitude of gratitude” or lack of it reveals the dominant attitude of a person’s life. People who are full of gratitude every day and not just on the fourth Thursday of November have the spirit of Jesus living in them for the benefit of all they encounter.
Grateful people encourage the weak to do better. They see the best in someone. They see the possibilities and not the liabilities. Those positive expectations can be a lighting charge of personal growth for the recipient, who may need just that kind of reassurance. Grateful people are generous people because they understand that all they have is a gift from God. When we let the resources of this world touch our fingertips with a light touch of gratitude, giving money and time and energy away to others becomes easier.
The generous person filled with Thanksgiving knows the true secret of joy. While we find Rest in God’s Love for us, and Peace in His Will for us, true Joy is found in Service to God. When we acknowledge our gratitude to God, we are close to His very heart. John 3:16, says it clearly, “For God so loved the world, that He gave….”
This Thanksgiving, rejoice in the material gifts, revel in the friends and family. Those are true gifts from above. But they are all temporal….they do not last. In the end, at the close of this Thanksgiving Day, express the attitude of gratitude to God, the everlasting and eternal reason for giving thanks.