What Does It Mean to Be Thankful?

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Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give him thanks!
Praise his name!


In last week’s post, we talked about making November not just a month where we all collectively are in awe of why we’re already hearing Christmas music and instead making it about meditating on the idea of thankfulness.

As such, this week, we’re talking about what it even means to be thankful. Because how can you know how to be something if you can’t even identify how to do it?

For example, my son used to want to be a Ninja Turtle. Which was fine. He was four and being a Ninja Turtle was legitimately on the table for him. But when he turns 24, if he still wants to be a Ninja Turtle, that’s going to be an issue. Not because it would be embarrassing. Quite the opposite. I would be super thrilled if my son became a Ninja Turtle.

It’s because the biology simply doesn’t work in his favor. He’s not even a turtle for starters. Secondly, he would need access to the same ooze that turned regular turtles into teenage ninjas with surfer dude personalities and a weak-spot for carbs. And last time I checked, they aren’t stocking that at Wal-Mart.

These are the things he doesn’t know yet. But he will soon.

Luckily for us, becoming a more thankful person is something we actually can become. No strange ooze needed. It may not be our default, but it is a mindset we can learn to adopt more and more.

Below our three ways to help you become more thankful than a Ninja Turtle with a Deep Dish pizza.

  1. Be Attentive
    Look around! We have a tendency to get so locked in to our immediate place in life that we miss the obvious things we should be praising God for.
  2. Be Grateful
    When you do recognize something for the blessing it is, show that you acknowledge it by praising God.
  3. Be Appreciative
    This one’s a bit trickier but just as important. Being thankful isn’t just seeing the blessing. It’s about understanding what all went into making that blessing possibility. So consider the blessings you have on a deeper level!


By applying the three rules above, what are some things revealed to you that you weren’t aware of? What surprised you about the process?


God, from you come all good things. I thank you for being constant and steady in our lives and not requiring us to earn our blessings because we could not. Instead, you bless us abundantly. Help us to see this more clearly and appreciate you in a more profound way each day.

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