Saturday, November 16, 2013

An attitude of gratitude

It's November again, and that means Thanksgiving will be coming soon.  The first American Thanksgiving was held by the Pilgrims in 1621 to give thanks for a great harvest.  The Pilgrims also invited their Native American friends, who helped them plant corn to survive. President George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide Thanksgiving in 1789.  In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation that all the states celebrate Thanksgiving on the same date.  Thanksgiving was celebrated on the last Thursday in November until 1941, when President Theodore Roosevelt changed the date to the fourth Thursday in November. People still gather together and eat lots of good food on Thanksgiving. 

If you’re on Facebook, I’m sure you’ve seen the posts that people have been putting on their walls every day since November 1 saying what they’re thankful for on that day.  There is even a Facebook page called Thanksgiving.  I would suggest, however, that we should be thankful not only one month out of the year, but every day.

The Apostle Paul is our inspiration for everyday thankfulness.  In Ephesians 5:20, Paul says: "giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." You will notice Paul didn't give to give thanks sometimes or when you feel like it, or just for some things, but to give thanks always for all things. 

In Colossians 3:17, Paul says:  "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." So we are to give thanks to God in whatever we do.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul says: "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  Not only are we to give thanks, it is the will of God in Christ Jesus to do so.

Even in prayer, we should be thankful.  In Phillippians 4:6-7, Paul says: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  I once heard someone say,“What if God only gave us tomorrow what we were thankful for today?”  That’s a sobering thought, to be sure.

Not only should we be thankful for what God has given us and for the things that happen in our lives, we should also thank others.  The words “thank you” should be a part of our daily vocabulary. Anyone who does anything for us should be thanked – the cashier at the coffee shop, the mail carrier, the worker in the drive thru at McDonald's, etc. Thanking someone for a service they provide just might make someone's day.  It's a good example to set for your children as well. 

So remember when you're sitting down to your Thanksgiving feast to be thankful not just that day, but every day.  I hope you'll be spending Thanksgiving with family and friends.  I hope it's a great one!


P.S.:  For more information about the history of Thankgiving, both the American and Canadian versions, go to this link: