Give thanks

Tim Jackson —  November 21, 2012 — 2 Comments

Consumerism and commercialism have come to dominate the landscape of the most uniquely American of all our holidays–Thanksgiving. Sales which once were put off till the “day after” Thanksgiving are creeping into the weekend prior to Thanksgiving and even are intruding into Thanksgiving day itself, threatening to consume every scrap of thankfulness from our tables.

Why? Because we let it.

Many of us have slipped into the habit of sitting down to overindulge in a gluttonous feast, only to get up and indulge ourselves in obsessive shopping for more things that we don’t really need with money we don’t really have because we believe we can’t really live without “more.”

And are we really thankful for “the more?” Sure doesn’t seem like it to me.

More doesn’t breed thankfulness necessarily. Usually, it breeds more pressure. Pressure to get more and pressure to keep it once I get it. And lot’s of pressure to pay for it. There’s no gratitude there.

So what are you really thankful for? Or maybe better said, who are you thankful for?

Look at those sitting around your table this Thanksgiving. Can you say something that you’re truly grateful for about each person who sits around your table? When was the last time you thanked God for them? Have you ever thanked them face-to-face? Maybe it’s time.

We are all too often quick to criticize one another. We’re good at that. But that’s not good. Maybe it’s time for a change.

So, here’s a suggestion. Take the time prior to your meal time celebration (maybe the day or evening before Thanksgiving) and write a brief note to each person who will be seated around your table. Just a couple lines are all that’s needed. No long letters. Maybe just a few words simply stated. Write just one thing that you are thankful for that you see in them.

Some examples like:

“Thank you for sharing your tears with me when we lost Dad this year.”

“Thank you for bringing laughter into our home.”

“Thank you for consistently loving me even when I’m moody.”

“Thank you for your patience with the children.”

Those are just some examples. You can take it from here.

The wisdom of the Proverbs reminds us: Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred (Prov. 15:17). So, even if you don’t have an elaborate spread at your Thanksgiving table, take time to spoon out some loving words of encouragement that will make this Thanksgiving one to remember. And who knows, maybe you’ll start a new tradition that will remind you of what’s most important to be thankful for every day of the year.

Maybe you have some “thankful” traditions you share around your holiday together with friends and family. Please feel free to share your stories here. You’re story may be just the spark that ignites a new tradition of thankfulness in others. And God knows we all can use a lot more of His thankfulness in our lives.

By the way, if I haven’t said it before, let me say it now. Thank You for listening, responding and participating at the HFML family table. May God richly bless you this Thanksgiving.

Tim Jackson

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Tim Jackson is married to his college sweetheart, Cole. They have 3 adult children. Tim is the producer for the HelpForMyLife.org website, writes Discover Series booklets on a variety of counseling issues and hosts webinars for RBC Ministries. He's also the founder and president of Still Waters Counseling & Equipping Ministries, PC, a local counseling practice serving individuals, couples and families. When not in the office, you will probably find him up a tree with a bow, in a duck blind or fly fishing on one of Michigan's many rivers.

2 responses to Give thanks

  1. Thank you for sharing, and for allowing God to use you in his ministry to do his will. Thank you for your message, it is really appreciated :)

  2. Erica,
    Thanks to you for reading and sharing with us. Gratefulness can become contagious when you share it. So let’s keep spreading it around every chance we get.

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