Thankful living — it’s not a one-day celebration

Published 2:03 pm Thursday, November 12, 2015

By The Rev. Steve Conwell

Why does God’s Word command us to give thanks? 

It is because it is not normal.  We have a nature that is not satisfied with what we have, so we want more. We compare ourselves to others, which makes us feel cheated and deprived, and we become unthankful.  Selfishness is the result of covetousness, greed, jealousy and envy.

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Gratitude comes from the right perspective on life’s treasures that money cannot buy, like appreciation, satisfaction and contentment.

The real treasures of life are not the things you cannot keep but the things you cannot lose. Thanksgiving is not a one-day celebration but a lifestyle of thankful living, the appreciation of what we already have.

If we are not grateful with what we have, we will not be thankful for what we will receive. 

Thanksgiving reminds us of the past year’s gifts with our appreciation to the Giver. To be thankful is not a result of our emotions or feelings but a deliberate choice of our will.

To be thankful for the good and the not so good, we must recognize there are two dimensions in our lives. One is what we see and understand (the temporal) and the other is what God sees and understands (the eternal).

Most giving of thanks will be tied to this world with its physical blessings of life. The Lord is more concerned with the way I live than where I live, not my standard of living but my living standard. There is only one letter difference between disappointments and His appointments.

I think it is most fitting that Thanksgiving comes before Christmas. You will not enjoy the gifts of Christmas if you do not recognize Who our gifts come from at Thanksgiving.

Please do not be guilty this Thanksgiving of taking from God and not giving Him thanks in return.  Gratitude comes from an overflowing heart not from things. Remember, you may not have what you want, but you do have more than you deserve.   

STEVE CONWELL, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church, is heard mornings on WFLO and WVHL in “A Thought For Today.” His email address is