November 25, 2021

How to be Thankful on Thanksgiving Day

Written by Tripp Prince

Thankfulness grows in the soil of generosity.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 25, 2021

You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11, ESV

In the United States, today marks an annual day of thanksgiving, gathering with friends and family to share in cherished traditions: filling yourself to the brim with turkey and dressing, enjoying a slice of pumpkin and pecan pie, playing football in the yard with young and old alike, and taking a moment to recount your blessings, giving thanks to God for his goodness and faithfulness in your life and in the lives of those you love. At least, this is the idealized vision for what this day is meant to be! In reality, this day and the days surrounding it may instead be some of the most stressful and challenging days of your entire year!

If you happen to read this the morning of Thanksgiving Day, your heart and mind are likely burdened and distracted in many ways. You’re running through the mental checklist of last minute details and jotting down a short list of grocery items. You’re worried about the family tension and years of unresolved conflict that may rise to the surface and boil over when everyone is crammed into the same room. And thrown into the mix is an unspoken and elusive grief, combining the nostalgic longings of childhood with the aching longing for simpler days that comes with time and age. Simply put, this is not a simple day.

When a spirit of thankfulness feels elusive or forced, St. Paul offers a tested and true remedy: generosity. In countless ways, the events of today, and every day, are out of your control. However, nothing is stopping you from living a generous life in which you seek the good for those around you and serve in small but significant ways. Think through what your day holds. How can you be generous with your conversation, engaging a family member that would be blessed by the gift of your time and listening ear? What opportunities do you have for generous service, perhaps setting up a room to host guests or pressing through the post-turkey nap time to clean the kitchen as a simple act of love?

Thankfulness grows in the soil of generosity. Rather than spending this Thanksgiving fretting over things that are entirely out of your control to fix or change, root yourself in concrete and tangible acts of generosity. In doing so, when it comes time to put this day to rest, you will go to sleep, filled not only with your grandmother’s cooking, but with a heart of thankfulness for others and for the Lord.


Father, when thankfulness seems elusive or even impossible to find, turn our hearts and lives towards others in faithful acts of generosity, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Identify a few specific ways you can be generous towards others on this Thanksgiving Day.

Related Reading

1 Chronicles 16:34; Colossians 2:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Worship Resource

Matt Redman: Never Once


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