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Actively Giving Thanks
November 19, 2018
It’s mid-November! With the busyness of our modern lives blurring our sense of time, it’s hard to believe we’re quickly approaching another holiday season. It’s that time of year when we intentionally reflect on the blessings we’ve been given and, hopefully, get to spend some much-needed time off with family and friends. Most of us can agree that we do, in fact, appreciate the people around us, the roof over our heads, and the niceties that we’ve been able to afford as we bring home our paychecks.
Yet isn’t it easy to want more than what we have? If you’ve raised children or you can remember your days as a child, you’re probably familiar with the word “more.” A child can have a room full of toys but still want more than what they have. Although we grow out of a lot of childhood tendencies as adults, wanting “more” is one that is hard to outgrow. We can never seem to be satisfied with what we have. We want a bigger house, a new or fancier car, or the latest gadgets and luxury items. If we’re not living our definition of the “American Dream,” we may feel like we’re behind everyone else.
Sometimes it’s difficult to look at what we have and be thankful for just that. The material blessings with which we’ve been bestowed are far more than what others have. Living in the United States, it’s very easy to take what we have for granted. According to the Pew Research Center, by a global standard, a majority of Americans are considered “high income,” meaning they live on more than $50 daily.
In fact, did you know that if you make $32,000 per year, you’re in the top 1% of the richest people in the world by income?
As much as we want to add to our net worth, we have to recognize that beyond our country’s borders, there are many who have so much less. In fact, others around the world may not have what we consider to be even basic necessities (running water, electricity, shelter, or access to food, for example).
This Thanksgiving, let us not take anything for granted. When we view our lives through the lens of those who have nothing, it really gives us a great perspective of how thankful we should be. This is not to say that our lives will not come with challenges and trials. But even then, we are still commanded to “rejoice always…and in everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:16, NASB).
It’s been said that gratitude is what you feel, and thanksgiving is what you do. In other words, giving thanks is an active, dynamic practice. With all that we have to be thankful for, let us move ahead into the holiday season determined to make thankfulness the cornerstone of our attitudes and actions.
“By a Global Standard, Majority of Americans Are High Income,” Pew Research Center, July 7, 2015.
www.globalrichlist.com. Accessed November 7, 2018.
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