Thanksgiving as a Mindset
There is a reason it is called “Thanksgiving”, because the focal point of the holiday is supposed to be giving thanks. Cultivating this kind of attitude is not easy. As Anne Lamott writes in her book Help, Thanks, Wow: “Thanks” is a huge mind shift, from thinking that God wants our happy chatter and a public demonstration… to feeling quiet gratitude, humbly, and amazingly, without shame at having been so blessed.
Lamott goes on to say, “Gratitude begins in our hearts than dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides. It means you’re willing to stop being a jerk. When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and in the past few days, it is hard not be humbled, and pleased to give back.”
Jesus seems to also lift up service as the response of a grateful heart. In the passage from Matthew 25 this week he says that those who have helped the least of these—the poor, the hungry, and the thirsty—have helped him. This is the fruitful behavior that comes from gratitude.
What are you thankful for? How do you express it? What is an act of service you could perform to demonstrate your gratitude?
– Pastor Erik