The Objective of Thanksgiving

Each November we celebrate Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is a time of perspective. It is a season to reflect upon the manywonderful blessings we have in our lives. We all have struggles and reasons to complain, but the heart of this holidayexists in the gratitude we choose to express.

One intriguing aspect of the holiday is the participation by so many different walks of life. Whether young or old, rich or poor, and regardless of religion, political leanings or ethnic backgrounds, everyone sees this holiday as significant. Sure, the historical background may be disputed, but the spirit of “thankfulness” is universally valued across all spectrums.

I have a friend whom I’ve known since childhood who is a self-pronounced atheist and is openly antagonistic toward the gospel and Christianity. In his life he has seen difficult days. Yet even so, on social media he calls us all to “be thankful” and“give thanks” for the good we have and experience each day. His sentiment is genuine and deeply moving at times, yet I question to WHAT or WHOM is he grateful? Considering his motives causes me to consider my own as well. How does the way I express gratitude differ from someone who is not in Christ?

“You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” 

Psalm 118:28-29 (ESV) 

Church, our thankfulness differs in two important ways: OBJECT and OBJECTIVE. First, our gratitude is not an empty expression to a non-existent “thing,” but Christ is the OBJECT of our gratefulness. Thanksgiving is a response to GodHimself, and a personal relationship precedes response. We THANK HIM because we KNOW HIM. Secondly, God’s glory is the OBJECTIVE of our thankfulness. Our gratitude displays God’s worth, which drives our worship of Him. This month, and every month, let’s remember Christ is the ultimate OBJECT of our thankfulness, and His Glory is the OBJECTIVE.

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