Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Americans have had a Thanksgiving celebration tradition that began with the earliest of settlers who, along with the native residents, gave thanks to God for the bountiful harvest they shared together. I would say the idea of giving thanks is universal throughout all of history and culture. I think what has changed is whom to give that thanks. However, I do not write this to deal with the receiver of the thanks so much as the giver.

When we thank someone we give thanks. We give of ourselves to thank another for what was given to us. We acknowledge we did not do it alone that we are a recipient of another’s goodwill and we give back by giving thanks and being thankful.

I think most can relate to giving of ourselves whether it is our time, labor, love, kindness, or money to another who responded ungratefully. Sometimes the giver may think what nerve the receiver has to not be thankful. However, if you think about it, giving thanks is not so much for the one being thanked, but for the one doing the thanking. It is better to give than to receive. That is true even for giving thanks. It does something in the one showing gratefulness. Giving thanks, therefore, is for the one giving the thanks and not so much for the one deserving the thanksgiving.

The same is true for giving thanks to God. God doesn’t need us to thank Him so He can feel all good and mighty because humans are giving Him praise and thanksgiving. Thanking Him is for us, it is good for us to show gratefulness. It creates humility, kindness, and selflessness in us. It also curbs our inclination to become prideful.

Some who are in great need often fall into the trap of feeling they deserve to be the one given to by others who have plenty. Sometimes they forget to be thankful because their mentality has become one of taking versus one of humbly receiving and being grateful in response. The solution for those who feel they are in this place is to give out of what they have and more will be given unto them. The act of giving in and of itself whether it is giving thanksgiving or giving something like money, time, food, a listening ear, etc., is extremely beneficial to the giver. Of course it blesses the receiver as well. But it remains true that it is better to give than to receive.


Anonymous said...

If god doesn't need our thanks, then why will he put us in hell for not receiving it?

kiwiofknowledge said...

I hope you had a good thanksgiving. Ours was last month (Canada).

In response to your post, I do have a church. I like it there. :)


Karla said...

That's good to hear Amanda. What's the Canadian traditions for Thanksgiving? Do you all cook turkey and ham for it?

Amanda said...

Yeah, pretty much the same as yours, except it's in October! We had turkey this year. I don't like ham, but that's what we usually have. Yuck!