Monday, October 30, 2017

Who Are You Thanking?

During the upcoming month of November people traditionally focus more on giving thanks than they do at any other time during the year. We generally attribute this to our celebration of Thanksgiving at the end of each November. As one of only 3 countries in the world that celebrate a specific day to give thanks (the others being Canada and Liberia), we usually pause on the fourth Thursday in November to give thanks in some form or fashion. Often times people will take a few moments, before digging into the turkey and dressing, to give people an opportunity to share those things for which they are thankful. I think this is a good and noble practice. It gives people an opportunity to verbalize their gratitude for the things they enjoy and those things that mean a great deal to them. It may be things like family, good health, love between family members, or any other number of items for which they are thankful. Voicing one's gratitude is important because it shows what is important to that person. But the thing that is more important is who are you thankful to?

If I walk into a store and someone holds a door for me, I will tell them "Thank You." If my waitress fills my drink up, I will tell her "Thank You." If someone gives me a gift, you guessed it, I will tell them "Thank You." The concept of giving thanks is to express gratitude for something. This gratitude must be directed somewhere, or more importantly to Someone. We often see the Thanksgiving Parade hosts or folks gathered around our tables at Thanksgiving sharing what they are thankful for but rarely sharing to whom they are thankful. Some will say the universe, fate, providence, good luck, or any other hosts of man-made ideals (or maybe I should say idols). We often hear an obligatory shout out of thanks to no one in particular, rather than thanking the God of the Universe.

The entire reason the pilgrim's celebrated Thanksgiving in the first place was to give thanks to God for the support they received from the local Native Americans and for His provision in their lives. Our thanks today are still to be directed at the God who holds everything together and provides us with everything we have. Psalm 107 (NIV), among other places in the Bible, reminds us to "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever." The Bible is clear that all of our thanks, gratitude, and appreciation for things in this life, should be directed to God because of His goodness and His love. He is the embodiment of goodness and love. Because these traits are part of His DNA, He gives us good gifts from the depths of His love (James 1:17). Because He gives us more blessings from His hands than we could ever count, we need to give thanks to Him. Not some arbitrary, lip service to the universe but to the God who created the universe and holds it all together. If you can thank a person for holding a door, pouring a drink, or giving you a gift, then why not give God the credit and the thanks for what He has done for you?

I'll close with this. I encourage you to work to adjust your thankfulness this November. Not only during the days surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday, but the entire month of November. When asked what you're thankful for, start off with the phrase "I'm thankful to God for..." As the month of November comes to an end, don't let your gratitude toward God end there. Work to make this a habit every time you give thanks going forward. It will help point others to Him and it will bring glory to Him as you tell others to Whom you are thankful.

If you enjoyed today's post, be sure to Share it on Facebook and Twitter so others can be encouraged too!

No comments:

Post a Comment