Where Thankfulness Begins

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Tomorrow, the vast majority of people in our nation will take intentional time to be thankful. Yes, Thanksgiving is the holiday we’ll celebrate, and gratefulness is the action we’ll take. But how does one go about being thankful?

In short, by being thinkful.

This is not only understood through the etymology of the word (the word “thank” stems from the Latin root “tong,” which means “think”), but Scripture shows us this very equation on display. It’s in Philippians 1:3, where Paul wrote that he “thanked God” for them upon “every remembrance” of them. See what he did there? He connected thankfulness with thinkfulness.

This is why I never grow tired of our family tradition of posting blank pieces of paper around the house on Thanksgiving Day, each titled “I’m Thankful For…” The blank paper makes you think. And as you think, you then thank. I assume many of you have done something similar, so you can relate to the joyful anticipation of knowing that by evening those once-blank sheets of paper will be filled with all kinds of items for which we are thankful. And it all started when you were thinkful.

Frankly, this is to be our mental (i.e., thinking) and verbal (i.e., thanking) posture year round. Scripture commands us to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), so thinking and thanking are best practices for God’s people. Why not get a head start on tomorrow by doing both today!

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