Turkey soup, turkey sandwiches, turkey quesadillas, turkey pot pie…
Now that we are all turkey-ed out I want to talk about Thanksgiving. Not as a holiday but as a lifestyle. I love that we set aside a day to remind ourselves to be thankful for all that we have. In general it is short lived and I’m not just talking about our homage to consumerism and the foolishness of Black Friday.
What I mean is this - for the vast majority of us it is easier to see the negative rather than the positive, to focus on what’s wrong rather than on what’s going right. I’ve heard it takes 18 positive comments to cancel out 1 negative one. Or was it 16? Who knows what the real number is. But does it really matter because Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘87% of statistics on the internet are made up anyway.’? What we do know is that that criticism often outweighs compliments and that we don’t lie awake at night losing sleep over all the wonderful things that are or might happen to us. My college psychology class taught me that this negative bias is human nature. But we have another nature.
Every day of the year should be Thanksgiving for a Christian!
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” - Psalm 118:1 NIV
An attitude of gratitude is the hallmark of a man or woman of faith who trusts God in all situations. Thanksgiving LITERALLY ushers us into his presence.
“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.” - Psalm 100:4-5 NIV
I’ve recently been convicted in my personal prayer life as to how much time I spend praying for protection, provision, power, people, problems, etc. versus how much time I spend simply saying, “Thank you!” I mean to change that. I choose to see the good in the people and the situations I encounter today. I determine to live my life in such a way that I demonstrate my appreciation for all that Jesus has done for me.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” - Philippians 4:4-9 NIV
Read it again. We not only have the peace of God, we have the God of peace!!! That's reason for Thanksgiving.