His Word to be thankful, and we know from our own experience that once we
seriously start praising God, our burdens and troubles seem to weigh less
heavily on our shoulders. David said: “I will bless the Lord at all times; His
praise shall continually be in my mouth. … Many evils confront the
[consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Ps.
34:1,19, The Amplified Bible).
That's part of the power of being thankful. As we pause to give thanks to God
for the blessings we enjoy in our lives, we actually begin to find more
blessings—even more to be thankful for!
However, many times the struggle is getting into the habit of being thankful.
There are countless ways to practice giving thanks—here are four of them:
When a person does something nice for you, let him know you appreciate
it. One day as I was going into an office building, a man standing nearby
opened the door for me. I thanked him and smiled.
“You're the fifth person I've held the door for,” he said, “and you're the
first one to smile and the second to thank me.”
I thanked him a second time, with a smile on my face. Afterward, I thought
how much we take others for granted, even in simple things such as opening a
door for a stranger.
Instead of accepting that that's the way things are, we can develop an
attitude of thankfulness.
Did your bus arrive on time today? If so, did you thank the driver? The last
time you ate at a restaurant, did you thank the waiter for filling your coffee
cup a second time without being asked? This is the point I want to make: Develop
an attitude of gratitude toward the people in your life.
Appreciate your family members, especially your spouse. I appreciate
Dave, and even though we've been married a long time, I still tell him that I
appreciate him. I thank him for being patient with me and thoughtful. Just those
few words of thanks are a great way to develop a thankful mind and heart.
When you express appreciation to those close to you, it's good for them to
hear the words, but it's also good for you. Remember, giving thanks releases joy
in you. You can enrich your life and theirs just by showing appreciation.
Meditate daily on things for which you can be thankful. I have a
friend who absolutely will not get out of bed in the morning until he has
thanked God for at least 10 things. He counts them on his fingers, and they're
small things really, such as having a good car to drive, being a member of an
exciting Sunday school class, enjoying good health.
He says that he goes to sleep at night by focusing on at least three things
that went well that day. He relives those three positive things. For him, it can
be as simple as his supervisor telling him what a good job he did on a project
or an affirming e-mail from a friend.
Be thankful for the honesty in other people. I once heard someone say,
“Only two people will tell you the truth about yourself: someone who is angry at
you and someone who loves you very much.” God uses both types in our lives, and
their honesty makes us better people.
I urge you to be thankful for people who tell you the truth about yourself,
even if it's not what you want to hear. When you hear the truth—especially
something of which you're not aware—you can change. And after you've changed,
you have yet another thing for which you can be thankful. It's a win-win
I encourage you to take time this Thanksgiving to practice being thankful in
these four ways. There is so much for us to be grateful for, and we need to
focus on it—not just on Thanksgiving Day but every day of the year. Keep in mind
the admonition of the psalmist, “Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and
affectionately praise His name” (Ps. 100:4).
This article is from the November
2005 issue of Charisma