What Thanksgiving Is All About

thanksgiving-image.gifA blessing came in the mail the other day. A couple that God had blessed through me was prompted to spend a few dollars for a nice card in order to express their appreciation. They took a couple of moments to write a few words which made my heart dance for joy and a smile race across my face. My life was imbued with the truth Jesus declared when He said, “It is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35).

That’s one of life’s most important lessons, isn’t it? It is a lesson that a newly promoted assistant manager at the big-box-store on the corner of the mall parking lot needs to learn. He speaks to his supervisor, complaining that he is not getting any respect from his subordinates. His store manager candidly remarks that, since his elevation to assistant manager, she has observed him treating the people he supervises like pond scum. She then explains, “You must give respect to get respect.” How true! In relationships with others we don’t get by getting. Instead, we get by giving. Of course, this falls right in line with Jesus’ teaching in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

“Thanks” is just a word. “Giving thanks” is a multifaceted life-skill. It involves an attitude of gratitude, combined with a heart honestly giving thanks to its benefactor. It requires the ability to concede our limitations and the humility to accept God’s grace imparted to us in various forms. It requires the spiritual insight necessary to understand that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (cf. James 1:17)

That’s why the annual Thanksgiving Holiday is special to me. It’s not just a time to remember all that God has done for us; it is a time to remember all that God intends to do through us. He has poured His richest of blessings into our lives because He wishes to bless the world through us. As the Holy Spirit instructs through the Apostle Paul, “you will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11).

Thanksgiving really is all about thanksliving, isn’t it?

© Bill Williams

November 21, 2006

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Christian Living, Christianity, Grace, Kingdom Living, Thanksgiving. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to What Thanksgiving Is All About

  1. Donna says:

    What a great word….thanksliving!!

    Thanks Bill, sometimes I really need the reminder.

  2. Thanks Bill,

    I was going to post something similiar myself on Thanksgiving but if it’s OK, I think I’ll just link to your page. Feel free to post a link to my page if you deem it worthy.

    Lord bless to you and yours!



  3. Thanks, Donna. I can’t claim orginality, though. Unless, of course, I follow the rule adopted by one of my professors. He said that the key to originality is: forgetting the source.
    Jim: You honor me with the link. I’ve really been enjoying your blog in recent days. In fact, I’ve added it to my blogroll. I hope many readers will click through and visit you. I really liked your “Copycats?” post! The link you provided gives excellent information re: Mithraism.

  4. Pingback: A thanks-giving story! « Thy Word is Truth!

  5. jel says:

    yes it is ! 🙂

    have a blessing of one ,Bill!

  6. storbakken says:

    Thanks for your post. And Happy Thanksliving!

    gobble gobble.


  7. KJV says:

    And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Colossians 3:15
    Amen… And God bless!

  8. MommyHAM says:

    Truly, Bill….

    I think thanksLiving is what makes us different as Christians. It surprises people to see real gratitude.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Kathy says:

    Now you did it, Bill! 😉

    All day Thursday as people wish each other a Happy Thanksgiving Day, I’ll be hearing Happy ThanksLiving Day.

    Sincerely, thank you for the reminder and encouragement!!

    “I count it all joy…!!”

  10. I like this-like it a lot. Happy ThanksLiving day Bill!

  11. loriannhouse says:

    Great post!

    I wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

    Many blessings,


  12. Dee Andrews says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Bill, as you sit down to your gourmet coffee and all of the trimmin’s that go with it! Don’t drink too much before the football games begin or you won’t be able to enjoy them. Not because you are napping from being stuffed, but because mother nature calls . . .

  13. Bill says:

    Thanks so much to all of you for the kind words and Thanksgiving wishes. I hope all of you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
    You are something else, Dee! If you don’t understand what prompts Dee’s comment, just take a look at the comments on this post on Dee’s blog.

  14. Jim Martin says:

    Happy Thanksgiving. I appreciate your writing and the constant encouraging tone of your posts and comments.

  15. Kathy says:

    this was just posted on Mike Cope’s blog about our friend preacherman, who is in desperate need of our prayer support.

    I just wanted to pass on a note that one of your loyal readers and fellow minister – Preacherman – is not doing well at all. I have copied a note from his wife here below from his blog. I’m sure they would appreciate prayers. Thanks for the interruption, and here it is:
    As some of you know, he had a disease as a child (Guillian-Barre’ Syndrome) which paralyzed and almost killed him. Well, it’s back. It’s sort of like lightening. It’s unusual to be struck once, but almost unheard of to be struck twice.

    Last Thursday I brought him to the Emergency Room because he had begun falling at different times. They did several MRIs and other tests including 2 spinal taps and gave us a diagnosis today. He began treatment today, but as of yet, there is no change in his condition.

    I don’t know what the problem is, but I’ve been unable to access his blog. If anyone else is able to, maybe you could give us an update about him! and please tell him we’re praying, praying, praying!

  16. Bill says:

    Thank you, Kathy. I’ve been remembering preacherman Kinney in my prayers. I hope that all who read these lines will do the same. Please let us know if there are updates. -bill

  17. nan says:

    What a wonderful post Bill. Thanksliving is a great word and a great way to live

  18. pam whitley says:

    This year has brought much pain…and yet….a renewed sense of the community of faith, love, and total support of all kinds that God has richly provided. What a divine paradox, to discover love and redemption in the midst of pain and sorrow. Thanks for being part of the redeeming grace that God has blessed me with during this season of life.


  19. Nancy says:

    Okay… am dropping three notecards of thanks in the mail right now!

  20. Rachel says:

    When God is dwelling in our thankful hearts, we are full of joy!

  21. Kathy says:

    Right on, Rachel, and OUR joy will be complete when Bill decides to rejoin us. Hmmmm?

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