Thanksgiving was originated as a “Harvest Festival” and has been celebrated (off and on) since a proclamation by George Washington in 1789. Celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November, Thanksgiving was officially declared a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
So, Thanksgiving is celebrated one day a year on the 4th Thursday in November. Doesn’t it seem like sometimes that’s the only time people are grateful instead of grumpy (and for some people they can’t even put on a happy face on Thanksgiving Day).
Grumpy people are – well, just grumpy! They are negative, critical, discontent, and generally not a lot of fun to be around. Grumpy people are rarely grateful people! What if grumpy people could become grateful people? What if gratitude is a choice?
If gratitude is a choice, what types of things might contribute to becoming grateful more than grumpy? In part 1 (All – Really?) of CCC’s Choose Gratitude series, a letter from the early church leader, Paul found him encouraging people (then and now) to “be thankful in everything.” Gratitude like that might seem impossible but it’s really a choice (or series of choices).
Take a few minutes to read Thessalonians 5:12-18 and the next step of considering the following questions about being grateful more than grumpy.
- Why do we find being grateful rather than grumpy so challenging?
- How does living peacefully with others lead to gratitude? Why is living peacefully with others so challenging?
- How does encouragement lead to gratitude? Why do we find it so challenging to be encouraging rather than critical?
- How can being patient lead to gratitude? Why do we find being patient so challenging?
- What perspective must we hold of others if we are going to live peacefully, encourage, be patient, and doing good with others? How can you make these things become a priority?
- Do you believe it is possible to be thankful in all circumstances? Why or why not?
- What is the difference between being thankful in all circumstances and being thankful for all circumstances?
- Do you believe God wants you to be grateful? Why or why not? How can you become more grateful?
- What next steps will you take to be grateful rather than grumpy?
Gratitude in everything doesn’t mean we will never be sad or face challenging times. Gratitude in everything is all about the perspectives and priorities we hold. Gratitude in everything requires intentionality in the choices we make – not just a momentary decision but the decisions in every moment. Gratitude in everything is possible; it makes life better and us better at life.
The Thanksgiving holiday is over – but thanksgiving doesn’t have to be.
Today is Monday – make it a day that you choose gratitude over grumpy!