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Thanksgiving is More Than a Holiday: It’s Meant to Change Your Life

Thanksgiving is More Than a Holiday: It’s Meant to Change Your Life

There is a way to live the big of giving thanks in all things. It is this: to give thanks in this one small thing. The moments will add up. I, too, had read it often, the oft-quoted verse: “And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 5:20). And I, too, would nod and say straight-faced, “I’m thankful for everything.” But in this counting gifts, to one thousand, more, I discover that slapping a sloppy brush of thanksgiving over everything in my life leaves me deeply thankful for very few things in my life. If gratitude is an antidote for anxiety and giving thanks is a real cure for stress, why relegate thanksgiving to a holiday when giving thanks can revolutionize our whole lives? I do this, record the gifts, gather the moments like manna. “Joy is always a function of gratitude — and gratitude is always a function of perspective.” It could be this feast every day — a Thanksgiving Feast every day. People who keep gratitude journals are 25% happier. Twenty-five percent happier. Is this why God commands us to always give thanks? What sane person doesn’t want to be 25% happier? If we are going to change our lives, we’re going to have to change the way we see. This recording our gratitudes, this looking for blessings everywhere, this counting of gifts— this is what changes what we are looking for. This is what changes our perspective. read more


As Christians, we know there are many verses in the Bible that talk about being thankful. In fact, we are commanded to be thankful. Thanksgiving and praise always go together, and we cannot adequately praise and worship God without also being thankful. But gratitude and happiness are more than just a state of mind or a gesture. There are some serious science-based theories behind each of these emotional states and their tremendous benefits as well. In today’s news and ever-changing culture, we are overwhelmed with bad news and negative actions. So it will take a determined effort on our part to be proactive in cultivating gratitude. But it’s oh so worth it.


Pray Psalm 100, a Psalm for giving thankful praise today: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”


When thanks to God becomes a habit, joy in God becomes your life. Begin right now and take a moment to start collecting those small moments of gratitude by writing down three things, three blessings in your life that you are thankful for. I’ll start: 1) I’m thankful for each of you who read this every week! 2) I’m thankful for the opportunity to spend today in our nation’s capital, showing my young kids our incredible national heritage. 3) I’m thankful for the truth of His Word that came to mind this morning which said, “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one” (2 Thessoloninas 3:3).


*originally published by My Faith Votes
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