Thanksgiving . . . or Thanksliving?

"Thanksgiving really should be thanksliving—a way of life—day in, day out, morning, noon, and night—continually, forever giving thanks to the Lord." ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Such a lifestyle is depicted in Ps. 92:1–2,

"It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night."

Has marathon ministry outrun your practice of thanking God for His abundant gifts each day for life and service? It happens even with the best intentions.

Grumbling . . . or Grateful?

Praise muscles lacking exercise can atrophy into complaint. Instead of reflecting on God's goodness and faithfulness, we dwell on what's wrong, what's inconvenient, or what's hard. As leaders, our grumbling not only harms us, it's likely to influence listeners at home and in ministry. But just as grumbling is contagious, so is gratitude.

There's no better time than the Thanksgiving holiday to enroll in gratitude training—and to recruit others to join in. Scripture is clear that corporate as well as individual thankfulness is vital,

"Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation" (Ps. 111:1).

You, yes you, could be the catalyst to initiate a gratitude feast!

Gratitude Feast

Why not try one of these gratitude regimens to jump start the season?

  • Use "A Week of Thanksgiving" guide to devote one week to practicing thankfulness. Include the whole family, your small group, or leadership team.
  • Display a gratitude board (cork, blackboard, or dry erase will do) in your ministry gathering areas. Encourage public posts of praise.
  • Open your next Bible study session by spontaneously sharing what members are especially thankful for in this season.
  • Lead a prayer time exclusively devoted to praise and thanksgiving.
  • Use your personal journal or start a family notebook to list big and small things you're thankful for.
  • Have group members share their gratefulness on a Facebook page.
  • Create your own ideas that cultivate a heart of gratitude, first for yourself, then for others you influence.

Father, forgive me for overlooking Your lavish benefits and for neglecting to say thanks. Cultivate in me a heart of gratitude that's thankful from dawn until dusk. Thank you, Lord, for what You've done for me in Christ, what you are doing today, and for the promise of what you'll do in the future. May my life exhibit "thanksliving" all year long. For Jesus' sake, Amen.

About the Author

Leslie Bennett

Leslie Bennett and her husband, Mac, live in South Carolina. After a dozen years of serving in a local church as the Director of Women’s Ministry, she joined the Revive Our Hearts team as the Director of Women’s Ministry Initiatives. Spend a few minutes with Leslie, and you’ll catch her passion for the local church, prayer, and revival.