It’s Thanksgiving, and I have much to be thankful for. If we think about it, we all do.

For one thing, we’re blessed to have a national day of Thanksgiving. There are only a handful of countries in the world that do. In the U.S., many things have taken over the holiday season that Thanksgiving kicks off. In fact, those things have leapfrogged Thanksgiving. One store I know of put up both Halloween and Christmas decorations at the same time on different aisles.

Has Thanksgiving become just a shopping aisle to you?

It’s up to us to observe the true meaning of the holiday, and I hope you will do that. While we don’t have to go far to see trouble, injustice, violence and pain, the Bible tells us to be thankful. Hebrews 12:28 says, “…let us be thankful, and so worship God…

God designed thankfulness as a part of worship. Sometimes what we’re thankful for reveals what we worship.

Thankfulness is feeling or showing gratitude. It is being pleased and grateful for what you have. As a parent, I try to develop this kind of heart in my children. As a Christian, I try daily to cultivate this in my own heart.

Research shows that thankfulness reduces toxic emotions. Things like envy and resentment, to frustration and regret. Perhaps if everyone practiced thankfulness more, senseless and random violence would decline.

An attitude of gratitude to God improves our outlook on life and puts things in perspective. It helps us live our lives in a way that readies us for whatever may come. It helps us realize that the things of this world are not our ultimate goal.

I pray that Thanksgiving will bring us all a new awareness of our own poverty of thankfulness. Whether we sit down to feast with family and friends, or dive into activities like sports or shopping, I pray we will first ask ourselves, “What am I thankful for today?”


Photo courtesy of Jordan McQueen on