Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Christian Perspective on Thanksgiving

Photo Credit: CarbonNYC
The late founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, Bill Bright, used to say that one of the best ways to express our faith is to give thanks in all circumstances. Today is a day in which we remember all that we are thankful for and the One to whom our thanks is directed. Here are some inspiring words from John Fischer on being thankful:
"Thanksgiving is not just one day a year, it is the theme song of the Christian. For a Christian not to be thankful is like a dog not wagging his tail at his owner's approach.

Thankful Christians walk around grateful for every breath, every sunset, every new morning, every color in the color spectrum, and every star in the sky. Like an alcoholic who is clean and sober, noticing beauty and taste for the first time, we are grateful just to be alive because we have been dead for so long.

It's hard to think of one vice that the virtue of thankfulness cannot render useless. One does not need to steal when one is thankful. A man does not covet his neighbor's wife when he is thankful for his own. No one craves more when he is grateful for what he has.

In the same way, a thankful heart cancels out pride and arrogance. No need to judge other people when you are thankful for who you are. No need to measure yourself by and compare yourself to others when you are thankful for what God has done in your life. No need to keep anyone out of the kingdom of God when you know you don't deserve to get in. (God can let in anyone He wants. I am simply glad to be counted among the saved.)

You don't care if you get the important seat at the table when you are overcome with gratitude at simply being invited to the dinner. You don't put heavy weights on other people's shoulders when you are thankful that God has lightened your own load. You are not obsessed with what other people think of you when you are overwhelmed with the fact that God is thinking about you all the time. You don't demand respect when you are thankful for your place. You don't have to hide your own sin when you are already thankful for God's forgiveness. You don't have to protect your image when you are already number one with God.

You don't have to condemn other people's blindness when it's only the grace of God that has allowed you to see. You don't have to try for the highest place when you are already grateful for whatever place you were given. You don't have to make a show of spirituality when you are thankful for having received the Spirit. You don't have to clothe yourself in holy robes when you have been already clothed in righteousness. (Or as a friend of mine used to say, "Why be cute when you're already beautiful?") You don't have to be full of yourself when you are thankful that God has filled you up with Himself.

Not only do we have a lot to be thankful for, our thankfulness can accomplish much."
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. God bless.

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