Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratitude is a Decision

All through the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons we hear it, we see it, and we even believe it. Then how do we live it? Gratitude is a gift as well as a decision and as we choose to have an attitude of gratitude it multiplies and spreads to all those around us. Being with family is sometimes tough. As college age kids come home after being away and on their own, who are suddenly thrown into the family living unit can cause tension between independence and a longing parent who just wants to spend time with them. Perhaps unspoken tension with family members requires tremendous grace just to sit through the Thanksgiving meal is part of “what’s on the menu”. Maybe it’s the loss of a loved one or the inability of being with all of our families because of distance, illness or military that creates a feeling of loneliness. So how do we do it and get through it?
We follow Jesus as our model who gave thanks before eating the few loaves and fishes as He fed the multitudes, who gave thanks as He passed the cup to His sin filled disciples, who gave thanks when He appeared to the two men on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection, who gave thanks to His Father above for every good and perfect gift. I believe He is referring to us as that perfect gift. He does not come or see with an attitude of anything other than gratitude because He sees us as a gift from God. Are we able, in season and out of season, to focus on His gift? Are we able to perceive that which was given and embrace with an attitude of gratitude? When we acknowledge that all things come from Him and that He is the source of every truth then our focus is on Him and nothing else. As we come with thankful hearts we bring God’s glory to our tables. We offer up to God our sacrifices of praise and thanks, remembering God’s provision and grace for us. Thanksgiving is to always be a part of our prayers. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for it is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. 1 Thes. 5:16-18
Of all God’s gifts, the greatest one He has given is the gift of His son, Jesus Christ. On the cross, Jesus paid our sin, so a holy and just Judge could forgive us our sins and give us eternal life as a free gift. This gift is available to those who will call on Christ to save them from their sin, in simple, but sincere faith. Like the Pilgrims long ago who sat at the first Thanksgiving table, with problems, eating with people they did not know or understand, having lost 44 out of 102 of their family members, we too have a choice. In life there will always be those things to complain about, storms that come or distractions that take our focus away from Him, but there will always be Jesus that gives us a reason to say, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Cor.9:15 Thanksgiving is sometimes overlooked in our secular world which leaves only the feasting. I pray He finds us grateful every day for all His gifts. May He finds us to be His grateful children who have made a choice to rejoice in the Lord. I feel an overflowing fullness of gratitude for each day our Lord gives before I even take a bite of turkey......or lobster.


  1. Thank you for this wonderful explanation of gratitude. You have been entered into the giveaway.

  2. I so agree, it is a decision. One that's hard some days, but with God, all things ARE possible. Thanks for this post--and for being a part of High Calling Blogs. I'm one of the welcome editors. :)


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