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Giving Thanks
November 20, 2013 (10:21 AM)

It’s Thanksgiving time again—time to take one day and focus intently on giving thanks. Of course we know we should be doing this year round “in all things.”

But some of us may be struggling with that. We may be having a hard time being truly thankful for even this one day. We’ve been going through a hard time as a country. Almost everyone I know has been affected to some degree by the economy.

Many of us have lost someone we love in recent years. Some have been quietly walking through long-term difficulties as families or as individuals.

We all know those people who live with great suffering, and yet they consistently exude the joy of the Lord. Without meaning to, they make us feel ashamed. What is their secret?

My dad said something many years ago that I’ve always remembered. It comes back to me from time to time when I need to be reminded. “Gratitude and self-pity cannot co-exist at the same time in the same person”.

So thanksgiving drives out self-pity. If I’m feeling sorry for myself, I am not, in that moment, being thankful. It’s that simple. Thanksgiving also opens our eyes to the needs of others and prepares our hearts to give and serve. You may be among those who are building a tradition of serving others on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving is the only appropriate way to come into the presence of our Creator and Benefactor. And the beautiful by-product is joy! So let’s give thanks today and get ready for joy. Joy to the world…

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