Thankfulness vs. Giving Thanks

Nov 24, 2015 by Matt Froehlich

The holiday season is upon us. Actually, retailers pushed it upon us weeks ago. So much so, that the “Consumer’s Christmas” has not only jumped ahead of Thanksgiving in early preparedness, but seemingly Halloween, too. In the not too distant future, we’ll be seeing green and red in the stores in July.

I’ve always taken issue with consumerism’s Christmas tidal wave hitting us any time before Thanksgiving. The day after? Have at it! They’ve already made that into their own holiday already. Just don’t mess with Thanksgiving.

Don’t get me wrong. Christmas is most certainly of preparedness for (in our hearts and minds rather than on our credit card statements and under our trees) and celebration with the utmost of fervor. It’s the birth of our Savior!! But what about Thanksgiving?! What about giving thanks to our Savior and for the birth, life and death of our Savior? We must always give thanks to the greatest gift and greatest giver of gifts we will ever know, not just one day a year, but every day. But please don’t belittle the one day solely intended for doing so.

I’m thankful for many, many things in my life. I’m thankful for my family and friends. I’m thankful for my job and the city, state and country I live in. I’m thankful for my church, its staff and all the people that make it the place I want to worship. I’m truly thankful, but am I giving thanks?

Am I giving thanks to my family, friend, colleagues, pastors, fellow parishioners, and garbage man for the things they do that make my life better? Am I giving thanks to God for all he has done, does and will do for me? Or am I just thankful? Am I keeping it to myself and not letting those responsible for that thankfulness really know what they mean to me?

This Thanksgiving and all year long, remember the difference between thankfulness and giving thanks. Drop someone a text or note thanking them for what they do. Thank the next volunteer, police officer, firefighter, paramedic, soldier, mailman and garbage man you see. And by all means, give thanks to the Lord!! Take the P.R.A.Y. acronym – Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield – and add a “T” to it for “Thank” to make it a P.A.R.T.Y! That was cheesy, but you’ll remember it. And when you do, give thanks to God for all things, even cheesy acronyms.

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