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  • John Whitehead

Thanksgiving or Thanksgetting

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I suppose I could say something super spiritual here about how blessed I am and taking time to offer thanks to my Lord for those blessings as for why it is my favorite holiday.


If I did, I would not be telling the truth.


You see the truth is, I love Thanksgiving because I love gathering around for a huge meal with my family, being together and watching football.


This is probably true for most of us. In fact, I am not sure whether the holiday should be called Thanksgiving or Thanksgetting. Simply because for most of us, it is a time of self-indulgence, not self-reflection.


We have become people consumed with getting and we are thankful when we do and not so thankful when we don’t.

This is truly a shame because if we were to stop long enough to realize how blessed, we are, we would understand why we should be thankful.


This is the essence of the Thanksgiving holiday. It is an opportunity to give thanks as we acknowledge the many blessings in our lives. Unfortunately for many, it is difficult to do because being grateful or not is predicated on what they do not have instead of what they do.


I have known many people who are less fortunate than I am and have seen them acknowledge the blessings in their lives, as I fail to see my own.


Why is it so difficult for us to see how blessed we are? Perhaps it is because we are confusing Thanksgiving with Thanksgetting.


We may feel we have not had a lot to give thanks for this year. Maybe we lost a loved one or were a victim of some other tragedy. Though this certainly makes being thankful difficult, it does not make it impossible.


It is the same as realizing, “having loved and lost is better than to not have loved at all”. Being thankful occurs when we see the blessings in having the relationship at all.


Will we ever find a way to change our hearts when it comes to “Thanksgiving or Thanksgetting”?


I believe we will if understand, being thankful is part of God’s will for our lives. Being able to find the blessing is where this perspective resides and finding it is how we can learn to apply it to our lives.


I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to being thankful as a response to what I have in life.

My hope is to understand how blessed I am to have the opportunity to give a blessing, not only to others, but to God as I acknowledge the endless blessings of my life.


I am not sure if you have ever considered “Thanksgiving or Thanksgetting”, but this year, my prayer is you would take the time to see the difference.


When you do, I think you will see Thanksgiving is so much better than Thanksgetting because we all have so much to be thankful for!


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”




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