More Than an Attitude
Well, it’s November (collective marvel at how the year has flown by). Though some are understandably eager to jump into Christmas celebrations, it would be a loss to overlook the significance of Thanksgiving. Sure, there are no catchy carols and few seasonal movies. It doesn’t help that the history is muddied with mythology of colonization. And I’ve heard a rumor that there are some people who don’t even like turkey! But stick with me for a minute because Thanksgiving is a hidden treasure.
This is a sacred time to practice thankfulness. However, I’m not talking about simple acknowledgment of blessings or an overall “attitude of gratitude.” That’s a great start, but it misses Thanksgiving’s beautiful heart. Yes, express thanks through social media posts and create thankful trees with kids. Let that be the gateway to a true gift of gratitude.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17 NIV).
Rather than only celebrating the gifts, we can appreciate the Giver. When we receive a gift from someone, the actual present is great. However, the thoughtful love behind it is what really touches our hearts. Now, magnify that generous love by approximately a zillion. When we recognize how great things like basic needs, indoor plumbing, and a hot cup of coffee are, we are merely seeing tokens of the infinite compassion our Heavenly Father has for us.
Genuine gratitude moves our hearts to respond.
1. Heartfelt prayer
“I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me” (Psalm 86:12-13a NIV).
Connect one-on-one with the Lord. The quality time we spend with Him is precious. Tell Him how much you appreciate His gifts and His love, then talk to Him about your day and what’s on your mind. Just hang out with Him. Nothing says “thank you” like giving our time and attention to a loved one- even (and especially) when that Loved One is Jesus.
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,” (Hebrews 12:28 NIV).
We get to give a gift to God through our worship. Whether in a group or individually, our time giving honor and praise to the Lord blesses Him. Music is a great expression of love when our words fall short. Dance, art, or contemplative time in creation are just a few other ways we can devote ourselves to His glory. Let’s put aside distractions and sincerely worship from the thankfulness in our hearts.
3. Serving Others
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11 NIV).
The more we give thanks, the more we realize that our blessings are overflowing. We can’t contain God’s goodness, and it spills out to those around us. Our grateful response to receiving the Lord’s gifts are to give to others out of our abundance. Of course, this is not limited to physical items but also time, presence, and love. As we do this, blessings are multiplied. Thankfulness increases. The joy of prayer, worship, and service continues.
November is a gift, a precious season of Thanksgiving. If we pause the holiday rush and create a celebration of intentional gratitude, we will discover rich meaning in each day. We will be able to see blessings we previously overlooked, including a closeness to Christ that was once lost in the hustle. Dear friend, I wish you the most significant Thanksgiving you’ve ever experienced, though with increasing delight in each coming year.
Thanks for reading- I’d love to stay connected! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and upcoming news.
Thank you Mal for slowing us down to read your words and giving us entry into a mindset of grateful thanks. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.
I usually get the point about serving others, and the need I have to be reminded, but I have also failed on the give to the giver part. Never actually thought about that. Perhaps some of us need Thanksgiving more than others?