I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD. Psalms 116:17
In the Old Testament, the Israelites made “thanksgiving” offerings to God, praising and thanking Him (Leviticus 7). Throughout Psalms and the New Testament, there are many verses and examples of people thanking God. We are instructed to give thanks and praise God.
With Thanksgiving looming around the corner and repeated biblical encouragement to be thankful, how can I cultivate a heart of Thanksgiving? How can I teach my children to be grateful?
30 Days of Gratitude
- Write a prompt thank you note upon receiving a gift or act of kindness.
- Smile and thank people I come in contact with – from someone opening a door for me to a waiter to my child or my husband.
- Thank God daily for His greatness and the gifts He has given me.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Put a stickie note in my daughters’ backpack or lunch, thanking them for something specific they’ve done.
- Send my parent or grandparent a card, thanking them for loving me and something unique they’ve done that I appreciate.
- Leave a huge tip.
- Sing praise songs to Jesus.
- If I see someone in uniform, thank him or her for their service. If it is in a coffee shop, pick up the tab.
- Call someone out on Facebook in a positive way, thanking them/praising them for something they’ve done.
- Call an elected official or send a note to thank them for something they’ve done . . . even if they are of a different political party.
- Compliment an employee to their superior.
- Send my child’s teachers a nice note or email, thanking them for teaching my daughter.
- Write my husband a love letter, listing at least 10 detailed things about him that I’m grateful for.
- Verbally thank a co-worker for something they’ve done or something I appreciate about them (not by email or text).
- Don’t complain for one full day. Don’t even think complaints. Shut them down as soon as they start and concentrate on the positive.
- Congratulate someone on an accomplishment.
- Volunteer at least one day out of 30 . . . visit a nursing home, serve a meal at a homeless shelter, pass out food at a food pantry, etc.
- In a group setting, praise my husband for something specific.
- Bring a snack to my church office with a thank you note for the pastors and staff.
- Offer to take a friend out and tell them how much I appreciate their friendship. Pay for lunch or coffee.
- Send a cute/funny GIF by text to thank someone.
- Spend time before church praying and preparing my heart . . . and then during church concentrate completely on God while singing His praises.
- Make an anonymous contribution or give a gift to someone in need, without them knowing who it is from.
- Practice saying “no thank you” in front of my children and encourage them to do the same. Show gratitude even when declining something.
- Thank God for everything . . . that means even the hard things. Even the things I don’t like. Even the hurts I’ve experienced. Thank Him for those experiences, recognize He is in control and all things will work together for good.
- Have my husband and children do a Love Languages quiz and then pick several concrete things to do to show them love in their language.
- Watch my tone – use gentle words and a kind tone when talking to my family.
- Give my husband a small gift to thank him for loving me.
- Set a good example for my kids – say “thank you” regularly and encourage them to thank others. Talk to them about the importance of saying thanks and gently point out opportunities to say thanks.
Then I will praise God’s name with singing, and I will honor him with thanksgiving. For this will please the LORD more than sacrificing cattle, more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves. Psalms 69:30-31
Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. Psalms 95:2
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Colossians 4:2
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:16-17