Give Thanks...To God

This Thursday is the national holiday we call Thanksgiving. While many folks only have visions of food, football, and shopping, I have noticed a lot of TV spots with people discussing the things they are thank­ful for. That’s good. In such a free and prosperous na­tion, we have a great deal for which to give thanks every day.

My own list includes (in no particular order): my family; electric­ity; warm sunshine; representative de­mocracy; indoor plumbing; mu­sic; the fact that my children have clothes to wear, food to eat, and a roof over their heads; my brothers and sisters in the Lord; and lots more. What’s on your list?

There is, however, something noticeably missing in most of those TV spots. I don’t hear those people talking about who they are thank­ful to. And that misses the very point of giving thanks. Why express gratitude for something if you don’t acknowledge the person who provided it?

Suppose you gave someone a precious gift. Which would mean more to you: for him to say to no one in particu­lar, “I’m thankful to have this,” or for him to look you in the eye and say, “Thank you for giving me this”? Real gratitude needs more than a subject; it must have an object. Real gratitude acknowledges not just that I have something, but that I have been given something. Real gratitude rec­ognizes both the gift and the giver.

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no varia­tion or shifting shadow” (James 1:17). Let this be our thought this week and every week. Whatever you are grateful for, it is yours be­cause of the power and providence of Almighty God. Don’t just be thankful for it; thank Him for it!

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting” (Psalm 136:1).