THANKSGIVING MAKES YOU A GREAT PERSON

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God is very clear about who is great. It is not in having others serve you, but in you serving others. One of the things that makes us into great servers is our ability to be thankful.

The more we express appreciation and thanks to others, the more aware we are of their importance in our life and in our world.

The more we express appreciation and thanks to others, the more aware we are of their importance in our life and in our world. It is easy for us to think we have gotten what we have by our own work and efforts. When you think about it, what do we have that is not the product of someone else’s making or generosity? If everything we have is from somewhere else, what is there for us to boast about? We need to be thankful for the talents of others and the things they make to benefit our lives. We need to thank them everywhere we meet them; develop a habit of expressing thankfulness to others. We do not even owe our existence to ourselves. We ought to be thankful to our creator for giving us existence and life. After all, we are created in God’s image, which means we are interdependent creatures and nothing we have is totally from our own doing.

When Jesus fed the hungry, he made sure he thanked God for the food that sustains life. When, he prayed to God, and then raised a man from the dead and gave him back to his grieving family, he thanked God for hearing his prayer so that people would believe him for their own resurrection. When he healed ten men of their sickness and only one returned to give thanks, he asked, “Where are the other nine?” The Bible says “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), and in another place it also says to always give thanks for all things (Ephesians 5:20).

How often have you thanked God for bad things that happen in your life? It can help us accept those things and calm our upset, troubled or stressful feelings.

How often have you thanked God for bad things that happen in your life? It can help us accept those things and calm our upset, troubled or stressful feelings. Actually, we don’t thank God for the bad things, but for letting us experience them for the good that he can bring out of them. I once thanked God for a situation where I lied to another person, knowing it would give me opportunity to go to the person and confess it, bringing about something good. In this case, it brought about a closer relationship between us than otherwise would have happened. Good things often happen because of our sufferings. Suffering may cause us to seek God for his salvation, or develop a closer relationship with God as we seek his help. Suffering can serve as test of our hearts to show us areas where we need to grow stronger. Suffering can help us lose our grip on worldly things and point us to things that are important. Sufferings can give up opportunity to love and help each other, showing us the necessity of human relationships, and bring us closer together as a human family.

The Thanksgiving holiday reminds us to be thankful for our blessings, our families, our country, our military, a good harvest, the beauty of creation, our gifts and talents, our jobs, and on and on. How sad to only look at it as a holiday and time off from work. Or, a time to enjoy family or friends without giving any time to verbally express thanks. The word thanksgiving is set before us to remind us to take some time to give thanks, and happily, many do take time to thank God for their blessings.

Why is thanksgiving important? Because the more we make appreciating others a part of our daily lifestyle, thanking people for who they are or what they do, the more humble and motivated we become as servants meeting needs of those around us. And most importantly, the more pleasing we become in the eyes of God.

 

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Jay Ashbaucher
Jay Ashbaucher is a native of Northwest Ohio and is currently a retired pastor and published author. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and has been a pastor and teacher in Montana for over 44 years. Jay taught grief classes in a hospital setting, and worked for twenty years as a fifth-step counselor and lecturer in an alcoholic-drug treatment center getting to know the hearts of people struggling to get well. While pastoring in Montana, he had enjoyed racquetball, hunting, fishing, and traveling the Big Sky State. Now living in Southeast Michigan, Jay enjoys his family, reading, hiking, golf, time with friends, and time with his fun-to-be-with wife. They have two happily married children and seven grandchildren.