For What & To Whom We Give Thanks
Sunday - November 22nd
Day 22: Attitude of Gratitude
Scripture to Read Today: Psalm 118:1-29
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 118:1 (& 29)
The recent tightening of COVID-19 socializing restrictions may put a damper on this year's Thanksgiving celebrations. In a batch of recently published surveys, Americans say that though their plans may be different this year than past Thanksgivings, they still plan to celebrate. We should all do what is necessary to promote health and safety while expressing our gratitude this Thursday.
Aaron Earls at FactsAndTrends.net summarizes a survey done recently by LifeWay Research. Earls' summarizations are in italics below:
According to a Nashville-based LifeWay Research survey, more than 4 in 5 Americans (84%) say they are thankful for their family. Sizable majorities also note being grateful for health (69%), friends (63%), and memories (63%).
Around half of those surveyed point to personal freedom (53%) and stability (47%). More than 2 in 5 are thankful for fun experiences (45%) and opportunities (42%). A third of Americans will spend Thanksgiving being grateful for their achievements (33%), while 1 in 5 (21%) express thankfulness for their wealth.
When Americans give thanks on the last Thursday of November, most say they express their gratitude toward their family and God. Around 2 in 3 say they typically give thanks to family (68%) and God (67%), while 42% say they are grateful to their friends.
Fewer say they are thankful to themselves (16%) and fate (10%). Even fewer say they don't give thanks (4%).
Earls says that this year's survey results were similar to the same survey results four years ago. Two notable exceptions involve gratitude for family and friends. Both rose 11 percentage points this year over four years ago. During our world's battle with the coronavirus this year, many of us have leaned on and supported family and friends more than usual. That reality gets reflected in comparing this year's survey results and the results of four years ago.
Survey respondents suggest that we are equally thankful to God and our families on Thanksgiving. That makes sense too. Vertically, we thank God for His divine blessings toward us. Horizontally, our families do so much to bless us. They will naturally be recipients of our expressions of gratitude.
Of the things listed in the survey results above for which people are grateful, which are the top two for you? Of the sources listed in the survey to whom people are thankful, which are the top two on your list?
Psalm 118 is a Psalm of thanksgiving. The Psalmist lists the many ways God has been good in his life. Much of what he shares resonates with us today. He bookends his Psalm of gratitude with the exact same thoughts of praise to God. Check out verse one and verse twenty-nine. They both say: "O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!"
We have so much for which to be grateful. Our gratitude should begin with God and then spread to others!