Giving Thanks This Thanksgiving Week

By Nancy Flory Published on November 23, 2023

This year has flown by. Thanksgiving week arrived so quickly. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been as thankful as I should have this Thanksgiving season. 

It isn’t that I’m not thankful, I just haven’t been particularly thankful on a daily basis. 

My pastor reminded me yesterday that I need to be thankful. And how much I need to be thankful for all of God’s blessings, not just material ones. 

My morning reading today included Psalm 100:4:

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.

I am reminded that I give thanks and praise to the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. I do not only give thanks and praise because He has blessed me and my family. Yes, I do give thanks for that. All that we have is due to His blessings. Our house, our cars, our clothes, our finances. However, I give thanks and praise because of Who He is. Because He is good, He loves us and He is faithful. It’s much more than just material things. 

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Family is the most obvious blessing that we have. Friends, too. It is good that we are thankful for the love we share. But we must remember that we thank and praise Him for Who He is.

Thankfulness Changes Hearts

I also find that when I am thankful, I have less negative self-talk. And I am kinder to those I love and even those I meet. Thankfulness changes my heart. It allows me to see others as Jesus sees them and treat them (hopefully) how He would treat them.  

Last night my family attended a “Friendsgiving” at our church. We had tons of homemade dishes that were delicious. We were just getting ready to play a game when a homeless man entered the church. He was dirty and had worn clothing. But he stood at the door for only a second, and then our pastor spotted him and went to meet him.

I couldn’t hear what our pastor said to him, but I saw him shake the man’s hand and lead him into the kitchen, where he was given lots of food to take with him. He also stayed around to play the game we were starting. Church members sat with him and talked with him. Is this how Jesus would have treated him? I think so. 

While we are thankful for everything this Thanksgiving, including material blessings, let us be thankful for others and treat those we meet with Jesus’ gentle spirit, helping those we can along the way. I promise it will change our hearts. 

 

Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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