We said a prayer of thanksgiving, enjoyed the fellowship of family and friends, and probably ate more than we should. Thanksgiving as a holiday is over until next year, but thankfulness as a way of life is a yearlong endeavor.
For me, thankfulness is closely tied to stewardship. While I enjoy saying thanks through worship, praise, and prayer, I need to do more. I need to give and I need to work.
Giving regularly takes my focus off what I can do and puts it on what God has done and will do. Giving helps me remember that any ability I have is a gift from God and my continuing use of that ability is because of God’s sustaining grace. I am reminded that my hope for the future rests in God, not how much money I can squirrel away. Giving reminds me to be thankful for God’s love and provision.
Working for God allows me to express my thankfulness in a personal way. I am able to use the talents He has given me to thank God and further His kingdom work. Working in the church helps me “love others with the same love He has shown me”. As with giving, my focus is shifted from myself back to God. I am reminded to thank Him for His patience and the work He has done in my life.
God’s kingdom needs givers and workers. Equally important, we need to be givers and workers expressing our thankfulness to God. As we celebrate Christmas, remembering just how much God loves us and the many ways that He has blessed us, maybe we can also think of some new ways to say thank you.