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Why be Thankful?

November 24, 2016

thanksgiving-graphicToday is American Thanksgiving. People around the country are sitting down to a big feast with family and/or friends and expressing gratitude for all they enjoy. Have you ever wondered why we should be thankful?

The reason is not because most American (and Canadians) have so much. Although that is true in comparison with the rest of the world, you will also find that often the most grateful people are not the individuals with the most or best “possessions.”

While we can all make our lists of things to be thankful for – feel free to check mine out from Canadian Thanksgiving – we need to also consider why it is good to be thankful.

Gratitude gives us perspective – no matter what difficult news or situation we are experiencing, a grateful heart gives us perspective on life’s situation. While the challenge we are facing may seem overwhelming right now, recounting a list of things we can be thankful for will remind us that the trouble upon us right now is only part of our story. There is much else that is good, when times are bad.

Gratitude gives us resources – While there are things we are grateful for, more often there are people we are thankful for. Again, when we are facing a challenging situation, our thankfulness list will bring us back to people we can connect with. Sometimes they may simply lend a listening, sympathetic ear. Other times, they may be able to offer advice or suggest an idea that can help us in the predicament we are facing. Appreciating what we already have can be a source for dealing with the temporary trial we are facing today.

Gratitude gives us health – Numerous studies demonstrate a thankful heart is good for the physical heart as well as other areas of bodily health. Being thankful not only lifts our emotional spirits, it actually triggers chemical reactions in our body that are beneficial for our mental and physical heart as well. King Solomon says, “A cheerful heart is good like medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22)

Gratitude gives us motivation – A spirit of thankfulness motivates us to continue pressing on, no matter how difficult the circumstance. Rather than give up, a heart that can celebrate the blessings of the past can also believe and hope for future benefits to come, even amidst the challenges we face. The past relationships we have been blessed with encourage us to persevere. For the benefit of those significant people in our lives, we want to continue to express gratitude, both as an example and as a thank you for their part in our lives.

Gratitude can also motivate us to accomplish more goals in the future when we realize how much we have already achieved.

These are just a few reasons to be thankful today – and everyday. Have a great Thanksgiving… today and all year round!

PS Another great resource on Thanksgiving is this podcast by Brian Buffini.

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