The reason we call it thankful is because when you live out of a place of thanks there is fullness. The author of Attitudes of Gratitude, M.J. Ryan did some research into positive psychology and found that, “One of the incredible truths about gratitude it that it is impossible to feel both the positive emotion of thankfulness and a negative emotion such as anger or fear at the same time.”
Giving thanks forces fullness of all the good things we desire in our lives: compassion, joy, hope, love, and generosity. This overflow allows us to stop the endless striving, slow down, and become deeply present with God, with those we love, and with ourselves.
As Thanksgiving Day approaches practice the art of planning less, slowing down, and soaking in tender memories that come once in a lifetime. Spend more time truly listening and remaining eagerly present with those you love. Rest in the overflow.
Remember it’s not about how much you get done or how productive your work or school break is, it is about being present, fully present. Take some time this week to reflect on the following quotes about giving thanks!
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K.Chesterton
“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things?” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Thanksgiving is the language of heaven, and we had better start to learn it if we are not to be mere dumb aliens there.” A. J. Gossip
“You can’t be grateful for something you feel entitled to.” Steven Furtick
“Foolish talking and jesting are not the ways in which Christian cheerfulness should express itself, but rather ‘giving of thanks’ (Eph. 5:4). Religion is the source of joy and gladness, but its joy is expressed in a religious way, in thanksgiving and praise.” Charles Hodge
“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.” C.S. Lewis
“The best helps to growth in grace are the ill usage, the affronts, and the losses which befall us. We should receive them with all thankfulness, as preferable to all others, were it only on this account, that our will has no part therein.” John Wesley
“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.” A.W. Tozer
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
“Grateful people linger over life’s blessings.” - John Maxwell
“It’s one thing to be grateful. It’s another to give thanks. Gratitude is what you feel. Thanksgiving is what you do.” Tim Keller