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GUEST POST: Putting the “Thanks” Back into Thanksgiving

Most of us are sentimental when it comes to Thanksgiving—and its cherished traditions—at least during the weeks leading up to the holiday. The truth is that for many, Thanksgiving boils down to a lot of work! From making travel arrangements, and getting the family packed and ready to go, to planning the dinner menu and shopping, and coordinating who is responsible for what. . . it’s easy for families to get cranky and frustrated in the run-up to Thanksgiving. Too often, it seems a celebration of giving thanks is the last thing on our minds as T-Day arrives.

Don’t forget that if it’s Thanksgiving season, then “Murphy’s Law” is in effect. You can count on something not going as planned. As I’ve heard it said, “Stuffing happens.” It’s no wonder we can so easily ignore the “giving thanks” part of this holiday.

So, allow me to simply remind you that there is always at least one good reason to give thanks, whatever your circumstances this Thanksgiving season, and it is this: God is good.

Here are three of my favorite ways that God displays His goodness:

  1. God is good because He gives us free and amazing gifts! Do we deserve God’s kindness, mercy, and forgiveness? No. But God loves us and gives us these three free gifts! This is a reason to be thankful!
  2. God is good because He loves us unconditionally! His love comes with no strings attached. He loves us not for what we’ve done but for who we are. This is a core truth about God, and a reason to be thankful!
  3. God is good because He offers us life forever. He offers us life to the full—here and now (see John 10:10,) and someday, life in heaven. This too is a great reason to be thankful!

As parents, we set the pace for our families as to whether or not Thanksgiving Day will only be a day of family, friends, food, football, and fun or whether the bar will be raised to a holiday where giving thanks is at the focus of the celebration, and not only an afterthought.

God is always good, so what are you waiting for? Thanksgiving Day? There’s no need to wait. Make November a season for your family to give thanks!

Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever. —Psalm 106:1 (NLT)

Doug Fields is a communicator, resource-provider, writer, pastor & leadership mentor. He’s the author of more than 50 books and is currently working with Youth Specialties & Azusa Pacific University (HomeWord’s Center for Youth/Family). More information about Doug is available at www.dougfields.com.

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