Thanksgiving is an acknowledgement of appreciation. To give thanks is usually to express gratitude or show appreciation to someone for something. When someone is thankful, s/he is acknowledging the contribution of others to his / her accomplishment of a certain objective.
With respect to spirituality, thanksgiving is an expression of gratitude, by a believer, to God for His goodness and mercies.
The reward for thanksgiving is that it leads to the flow of more (good things) into the life of the person that gives thanks. That is, when you are thankful for what you have, you tend to have more. I will explain why later on. On the other hand, when you’re cynical, not only will you not have more, you risk losing that which you’ve got! In essence, thanksgiving creates abundance whereas cynicism results in scarcity.
North Americans seem to have a good understanding of this golden rule in that the continent is the only one I know that have a specific day of the year for thanksgiving. This probably explains why they have the biggest economy in the world.
Why Thanksgiving Leads to More
- The person to whom thanksgiving is directed is usually delighted and willing to do more. As a father, when I give something to any of my children and s/he shows appreciation for what I’ve done, I usually feel a subtle compulsion to do more.
I believe this is the way God feels about believers who gives thanks. The big difference is that with God, you’re dealing with a personality who is not only willing to do more but is more than able to do more.
- The person giving thanks remains humble. Thanksgiving is an attitude of a humble person. Put differently, it’s hard, if not impossible, for a proud person to be thankful. The reason is simple: a proud person has an over-inflated opinion of his / her capabilities. As a result, he attributes everything s/he should be thankful for to himself. Based on this attitude, he doesn’t give thanks to anyone!
Worse still, a proud person gets on a collision course with everyone (man and God). Therefore, the person who deserves the proud person’s thanks is inclined to withhold future favours. As a matter of fact, God is very categorical in His dealing with a proud person. Whereas He (God) gives His grace to the humble person (so that he can achieve more), He resists the proud person (thereby stalling his progress)!
- The act of thanksgiving creates harmony between the giver and the receiver of thanks. The harmonious relationship invariably creates an enabling environment for the accomplishment of many more goals / objective.
- A person that gives thanks usually does on the strength of what s/he already has. This means that thanksgiving is a product of a contented heart. When you’re contented, you exude a positive attitude that serves to attract valuable people and positive life circumstances to you, which would accelerate the achievement of your set goals.
- Thanksgiving eliminates ‘entitlement’ mentality. One of the reasons most people are not thankful is because they see whatever they’ve got as a right rather than a privilege. As a consequence, they see no reason for being thankful to anyone. If on the other you see the good things in your life as a privilege, you tend to be thankful. This mental disposition has a positive effect on the overall quality of your relationships and the results you achieve.
- Thanksgiving brings about a feeling of well-being. The first step in a goal setting program is for the goal setter to make a list of all the things s/he is grateful for. The act of listing these things creates the required positive mental attitude s/he needs to achieve his or her goals.
The fact has been established that for us to have more in life, we have to become more. What thanksgiving does therefore is that it works on who we are and makes us a better person. When we become a better person, we achieve better results.
If you really desire to have more in any areas of life, you should form the habit of itemizing the things you are thankful for on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly or yearly), reflect on them and be really thankful for them in your heart. If you do, before long, you will start having more of the good things life has to offer.