Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year and has been since I was a little boy. When I was small, Thanksgiving meant seeing grandparents, my parents were off of work and we could enjoy being with them, my mother cooked our favorite foods, and we played in the yard and in the woods. Sweet memories.
As I matured I began to understand a little more of what Thanksgiving was about and began to understand that it is a time to stop and express our thanksgiving to God for all that He is and all that He has done, is doing, and is going to do. Secondarily, it became a time for me to stop and express thanks to people who have impacted my life. People often talk about having an “attitude of gratitude”. Sure it is a trite phrase, but still true nonetheless. Scripture, other ancient wisdom literature,and even contemporary studies speak to the importance of having a grateful spirit or attitude.
However, let me suggest that there is another attitude that could be closely tied to a spirit of gratitude. In fact, I might even argue that you must have and understand this attitude before you can even fully possess and understand a spirit of gratitude.
During my time with Ambassador Enterprises, we talked about an attitude that was absolutely core to the organization. It is an attitude of dependency. When you read that – an attitude of dependency – does it strike you as somewhat negative? Maybe weak? After all, aren’t we taught that we should not be dependent on others?
The truth is that we are profoundly dependent upon God and others and until we realize that and embrace that, I am of the opinion that we will not truly be a grateful people. Romans 11:36 says it this way, “For from him and through him and to him are all things.” Get that? ALL things. Every good thing comes from God according to Scripture. We are totally dependent upon Him for every breath we take.
Additionally, we are dependent upon others – none of us are truly independent. We need each other – we were and are made to live and function in community.
So, this Thanksgiving, and every day in fact, live with an attitude of dependency – an acute sense of your need for God and for others. From that, in my opinion, will spring a deep sense and attitude of thankfulness.
We are a dependent people and I am so grateful for a loving God and for the people He has placed into the lives of my family.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!