Are You Really Thankful?

It is American Thanksgiving, a time for family and friends to be thankful that: Black Friday is tomorrow, there’s lots of football today, there’s food cooking in the oven or exploding in the deep fryer and most importantly the bathroom scale is reading 15 lbs lighter than your real weight. In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October so by American Thanksgiving we are thankful we have more time between our Thanksgiving and Christmas to lose the extra turkey weight we gained.

Thanksgiving is not quite a Christian celebration, it’s more of a Christian themed day off.                          

This holiday may not be a church calendar type of holiday like Christmas and Easter, but as Christ followers we still assign significance to it because being thankful is how we are called to live. From this arises an important question, do we live a life that is really and truly thankful?

I was raised to say thank you and many other words that are part of being polite.

I say these words without thinking; it’s just what you do in a civilized society during routine interactions. It isn’t a lack of thankfulness or a genuine desire to treat people with respect, but rather an ingrained response that has more connection to my upbringing than to the situation at hand.

A polite request including the word please followed by a polite recognition of the completed request that includes the words thank & you, is all you need. A smile may add to the exchange but there are no expectations beyond please and thank you.

Thankfulness goes far beyond the routine interactions of everyday life.

If life had only routine interactions we would be well on our way to being really and truly thankful because thank you would say everything that needs to be said. Our deepest relationships demand we go beyond a polite two-word response.

To live out the thankfulness I have for my wife requires more of me than the limitations of language can give. If I am truly thankful for my children, words will not be enough to express this fact. Life must change, priorities must be adjusted, sacrifices must be made and commitments fulfilled.

Sitting around a table eating turkey and reflecting on how blessed we are isn’t a bad start but it is a terrible end. If I am really thankful, actions are inspired and my focus changes from what I have to what I can do.

Words are not always enough.

I am sure my wife and kids appreciate hearing how thankful I am that they are a part of my life just as I am sure the person that passes me the gravy at Thanksgiving appreciates hearing that I am thankful for their willingness to pass it to me. In one case there is no need for life altering responses as thank you is enough, but in the other… let’s just say I appreciate them more than gravy and that should show.

During this Christian themed day off, ask yourself if you are really thankful?

If you are willing to differentiate between the thank you words you offer in passing and the thank you actions you take in relationships; if you are willing to recognize that relationships demand more than habit formed replies; if you are willing to let the focus change from what you have to what you can do, then you can say you are really, truly, thankful. Actions speak louder than words.

If this really is a Christian themed day off then where does Christ fit in?

If you are willing to differentiate between the thank you words you offer in passing and the thank you actions you take in relationships; if you are willing to recognize that relationships demand more than habit formed replies; if you are willing to let the focus change from what you have to what you can do, then you can say you are really, truly, thankful. Actions speak louder than words.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

View this passage and much more at BibleGateway.com

 Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.

 

 

13 comments

  1. Happy thanksgiving for whenever you and your fam celebrate it dude. We do not celebrate it here in Australia and I think my wife (who is American) is really missing it.

    “Life must change, priorities must be adjusted, sacrifices must be made and commitments fulfilled” I like what you said here, that it must be more than just saying thank you. Kinda reminds me of repentance. Not just about saying sorry but a change in direction.

    I am thankful for your post David

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, a month late. May we always remember each day to be thankful to a God who sent His son so that we might truly live. But, also giving thanks to the same God who is sovereign, and makes our “Thanksgiving Day” possible.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am thankful every minute of every day that people think I am thankful every minute of every day lol,
        I am striving to be more thankful and observing your thanksgiving and our thanksgiving at least means I am forced to think about it 2 times a year 😉

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s