Thankful or Entitled?

When I meet people who operate from a thankful heart, one trait appears consistently: gratefulness for the simplest things.

An extra $20 to give away.

A PB&J for lunch.

A beautiful sunset.

The eyesight to see one.

When an unexpected blessing comes to a thankful person, we may hear an impromptu broadway song, belly laughter, or even witness a joyful hop, skip or jump.

But too often, I run across people who operate from an entitled heart:

"I'm quitting if they don't hand out bonuses this Christmas!" 

"If my engagement ring doesn't have at least 2 carats, the answer is no."

"The church service better have the music I like."

As we celebrate Thanksgiving day after tomorrow, do you find yourself thankful or entitled? Just replay your thoughts and conversations over the past few days.

I operated from an entitled heart for many years. And it never brought me joy, drew me closer to people, or satisfied my deepest desires. And it certainly never fostered a surrendered life toward God.

What we're entitled to is hell. Literally. Were it not for a sacrificial Savior who died to offer us the path to life, hell would be our eternal address.

Even though Christmas has always been my favorite season, this year's holidays represent the first time I've honestly felt like celebrating in two years. The sadness of my marriage exploding in December 2009 and stark reality of being divorced as December 2010 arrived tainted my holidays on many levels.

But I learned something only experience teaches: heaven-based thankfulness remains regardless of our circumstances. Circumstantial-based thankfulness fluctuates by the second.

This year I find myself thankful for the simplest things. Priceless treasures that far exceed the best Black Friday sales.

The laughter of family and friends that will fill my home.

A loving God who resurfaces hearts.

A Savior who brings forth beauty from ashes.

This Thanksgiving, I am ... simply thankful.

"Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done." Psalm 105:1

What are you most thankful for this year?


  1. I'm thankful that our college daughter is having such a good year and is enjoying her college fellowship group at her church, that my teacher hubby got a brand new classroom for the first time in his teaching career, and that I'm blessed with so many dear friends like YOU.

  2. Keli, you have wonderful things to be thankful for, indeed! And I'm so very thankful for YOU, as well!

  3. I'm thankful for my husband introducing me to his Mom while we were still dating. I'm even more thankful that she wasn't deterred when I declined her offer to go to church. She asked again for the next service, and I said yes. I still don't know why I said yes. I thought I was saying no again! Well, I do know why... Within that very year, I became a member of God's family through baptism. I'm grateful for my Savior who planned my journey to Him all along and in every detail.

  4. Wow, Deb, what a wonderfully powerful story! Don't you love how He plans every single step? Thanks so much for sharing this!