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The Habit of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time where we focus for a few minutes, at least, on giving thanks for all that God has done for us and all the stuff we have. The obvious are usually the first give : family, friends, salvation. But what if you were asked to write 50 things that you were thankful for? Could you do it? Psalm 100 says that we are to, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” This is easy when we remember that, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). We should develop the habit of Thanksgiving every day of our lives in our prayers, hearts, and words.

Developing the habit of thanksgiving was the challenge given to us this past Sunday from the pulpit in our church. Afterwards, my husband and I evaluated whether or not this was our habit. I tend to give God praise and thanksgiving when I enter into prayer. It really gives me a better perspective of talking to my Heavenly Father. It humbles my heart and makes me ever so grateful for who God is and what He has done and is doing. Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I am still working on the “in everything”. But I am in process.

My heart is usually thankful for all that God has done. It is thankful to my husband and his great acts of service as he cares for me each day. Unfortunately, I would have to say, though, my words do not always speak my heartfelt thanksgiving. The habit of thanksgiving needs to get from my heart to my mouth. I tend to analyze everything and discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly. The bad and the ugly usually get more time than the good. I am concentrating on developing this habit of speaking thanksgiving and keeping more of the band and ugly to myself.

The habit of thanksgiving should be a daily challenge until 50 things that you are thankful for is just a beginning. This habit starts with acknowledging that every good gift comes form God and then returning thanksgiving to Him whenever those gifts come to mind. This habit is well worth cultivating.

Hint for the day: Make speaking thanks outloud a part of your conversation. To get you started keep a thanksgiving journal and jot down everything that you are thankful for and share it with you spouse and children. Have them keep a journal, also. Sharing journals may help you remember other things in which to give thanks. When you sit down together at the table for a meal, let your daily thanks be a part of your conversation. Pray, dig in, and ask what everyone is thankful for that day.

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