Sometimes, children ask the very best questions. When we tell them that they need to be grateful, they often ask: “why?” This is a question that we all need to answer.
Why do we need to be grateful? Why does the Bible emphasize thanksgiving? Why did Paul begin almost every letter to the churches with a long section about thanksgiving?
First, thanksgiving helps us deal with our selfishness. Our self-centeredness leads to all kinds of problems. Adam and Eve focused on themselves and made disastrous decisions. Their selfishness cursed the human race and brought awful consequences in their own family. Thanksgiving moves us away from our selfishness and makes on focus on other people.
Second, thanksgiving helps us focus on the positive. Being negative is easy. It is a vice that comes naturally. But thanksgiving moves us away from the negative and toward the positive. Paul told the church at Philippi to think about positive qualities and to practice those qualities (Philippians 4:8-9). Being positive and giving thanks changes our focus and helps make life much more joyful. Who doesn’t need to have a more positive attitude and disposition?
Third, thanksgiving encourages the people around us. When you express appreciation, you simply encourage the people around you to be more thoughtful and helpful. When you and I express genuine appreciation, we reinforce good behavior. We all love a pat on the back and a word of appreciation. We need to be encouraged to do good. Thankfulness on our part helps other people to do better as well.
Fourth, thanksgiving issues in a sense of inner peace and joy. What a wonderful by-product of a thankful life!
Finally, we need to be thankful because thanksgiving characterized the life of Jesus. Jesus Himself gave thanks for daily bread and encouraged us to do the same. He thanked the Heavenly Father for his guidance and provision. As Jesus did, so we need to do. Our thanksgiving pleases God our Father.
Tomorrow, I will post a blog entitled: “The Most Important Question for Tough Times.” I believe that this question does more than any other to help us make it through difficult times. You can make sure that you receive this post and every post by subscribing below. This will insure that you receive email notifications each time I post something new. I hope that you will subscribe to this free blog. Once you have subscribed, be sure to reply to the confirmation email.