I asked my son what he was most thankful for. He was "joking" around and said, "A mom that cooks good food, and a dad who buys me video games!" Yes, this is a typical boy response, but it is also a typical "flesh" response. When we think of things we are thankful for, it usually revolves around us! We are selfish by nature and usually think of what has benefited us the most! My son is thankful that his mom makes food, "for him" and that his dad buys games, "for him!" Of course, he is truly thankful to have parents, but what he's focused on, is what we do for him.
Philippians 2:3-4 says, "When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others." This is a hard verse to wrap our selfish, little minds around. When things don't go my way, it is easy for me to become centered on what has happened to me, rather than how it affected anyone else. For example, I am not a lucky person. I could enter a million drawings and they would never draw my name! I'm pretty sure, it would be drawn last! Every time I lose, I think about how I could have really used whatever they were giving away. I never give any thought to the person who won it. What could they be going through right now that maybe God wanted to encourage them? Instead of focusing on myself, I should be thinking about the needs of others. Now, don't get me wrong, God blesses me daily! He has given me a wonderful husband, beautiful children, and health. But, those are things that God has given me! I am once again focused on myself.
This Thanksgiving when you are sitting around the table with your loved ones, what are you most thankful for? Is it that you have family that can be near "you," a home that keeps "you" warm, or food to fill "your" belly? What things have you done for others lately? Let's try to be givers this Thanksgiving. Let us remember those around us in need who may not have a family, or someone that may have just lost their job and don't have enough. Don't forget about those who are elderly or ill and can't leave their homes, or the family that might have recently lost a loved one, making this holiday season a difficult one. Let's try and focus on others this year, and as we do, our cup of joy and thankfulness will overflow.