In a culture so inundated with ourselves, it’s oddly refreshing to spend a day simply giving thanks.
With Thanksgiving tomorrow, many turkeys will be eaten, laughs will be had, naps taken, football watched (Go Packers!), and blessings counted and shared.
Growing up, my dad taught me early on that we will not be a family that shares what we’re thankful for only one day in late November. We will share what we’re thankful for every day throughout the year. Thus opening our eyes to the goodness, mercy and blessings of God daily. My dad is an expert at promoting a culture of thanksgiving.
And when we are a part of a culture of thanksgiving rather than partaking in self-centered critiques and complaints of others and different life circumstances, life becomes that much sweeter.
So, here’s four practical ways in which you can taste the sweetness of Thanksgiving year round:
1) For every single critique you give, give five compliments or pieces of encouragement.
We’ve got enough critics as it is. In our nation. In our sporting arenas. In our churches. In our homes. Everybody can be a critic, but not everybody is a participant. Instead of so easily critiquing others and their decisions, build up. Encourage. There’s a time for rebuking and refinement. But it has to be salted with grace, encouragement, and thankfulness. Or else you’re just throwing your seed on the soil littered with thorns.
2) Write notes of thanks daily.
Don’t email it. Don’t tweet it. Don’t text it. Write it. Get your pen and notebook out right now. And simply write someone a note telling them that you appreciate them. It’s that simple. It’s amazing how effective a simple, hand-written note of encouragement received in the snail-mail is.
3) Replace your complaints with blessings.
There’s a difference between critiques and complaints. Complaints state a feeling of helplessness based on your current situation, feeling no hope and, in the process, drags others into a shared hopelessness. We all have something to be thankful for. God has so richly blessed us beyond what we deserve. You have breath in your lungs. People who love and care about you. A God who knows the number of hairs on your head. Replace your complaints with blessings.
4) Never stop saying “Thank You.”
You really can’t say this enough. Thank others around you. Just do it. Every day. It doesn’t wear out.
When we promote a culture of thanksgiving daily, our lives will be bettered, other people’s lives will be bettered, and you will closer your walk with Jesus.
Be thankful. Be thankful tomorrow. Be thankful next month. Be thankful daily.
Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. (Psalm 103:2)
…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you… (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18)