Thanksgiving is over and we’re hurling head on into the Christmas holiday. However, I’m still stuck on giving thanks.
Give is defined by dictionary.com as “to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation.” This is an act of our will; we voluntarily do it. There’s no pressure; it’s a choice and we’re not looking for any reward because we did it. The word thanks is defined as “expressing gratitude, appreciation, or acknowledgment.” Once again I believe this is an act of our will—we choose to be grateful or appreciative and express that. So when we give thanks, we are adopting the attitude of intentionally showing gratefulness and acknowledgment for something.
The world has begun to acknowledge the power of giving thanks. You see, gratitude has become a scientific phenomena of some sort. I challenge you to simply Google “gratitude” and see what you get. Many articles, books, and studies fill the internet with how having gratitude can make you happier, rewire your brain, and add to your emotional intelligence. Gratitude is good for your health, it’s been proven. And since the Bible has been around longer than these studies, I presume God knew all about this already.
Christians may view giving thanks as simply a command we’re supposed to obey. But I don’t think that’s how Father God sees it; He’s not that legalistic. I think He understands our physiology (of course) and knows that not only does thankfulness make us healthier and happier, but it also changes our whole outlook on life. We begin to see the “glass half-full” not half-empty. We begin to dwell on the positives not the negatives. And we begin to bring light and hope where there is darkness and despair.
As we truly see how good God is, we become light in this world. Giving thanks won’t just be an exercise of typing three things we’re grateful for on our gratitude app once a day, it will be living and breathing His goodness every hour and every minute! So not only is gratefulness good for you, it’s good for others too!
I have a feeling I may be stuck here on giving thanks for a while, especially in the Christmas season — there’s so many things I’m grateful for. I invite you to join me in this gratefulness journey. Find an app, use journal, or simply talk to God. Make a choice. Lord knows this world needs some hope and light.
May we choose to be grateful in everything. (1 Thes. 5:18) And may our gratitude rub off on others around us this holiday season and throughout the whole year.