Give Thanks Anyways

      Comments Off on Give Thanks Anyways

Gratitude and thanksgiving are frequently presented as synonyms.

But they’re not quite the same thing.

Gratitude is an inner disposition – a deep-seated feeling that when it comes to the best things in life, all we can do is receive them with empty hands.  Gratitude springs from grace. 

Thanksgiving isn’t a feeling.  It’s an action.  Thankfulness is a decision we make to say or shout aloud, “Thank-you!” 

It’s worth noting that the Bible never commands gratitude.  You can’t command a feeling.  That becomes immediately obvious if you’ve ever tried to “feel love” for someone for whom you have no feelings of love whatsoever. 

But God nonetheless commands us to love each other.  That’s a powerful clue that his prescription of unconditional agape love is, in the end, always an action – a decision we make to bless and care for others, even our enemies, regardless of our feelings.    

Do you feel gratitude today?  Is your heart warmed by the realization that God is in control of the universe, and there’s no need for you to feel anxious about anything?

Then say “thank-you” to God. 

But what if gratitude isn’t even remotely on your radar, and you’re fighting a losing battle with feelings of anger, self-pity, sadness, loneliness, anxiousness, doubt, or cynicism?  

Then say “thank-you” to God, anyways. 

Why?  Because God asks us to do so. 

And perhaps he does that because the more we offer thanks, even when we don’t feel like it, the more our hearts will be mysteriously shaped by gratitude. 

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good

May God bless you richly on this Thanksgiving Day.