God-Focused Thanksgiving: Is There a Difference Between Being Thankful and Giving Thanks?



Psalm 30:12 (NKJV)

12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

What is the difference between being thankful and giving thanks?

As Thanksgiving Day quickly approaches, this question has been laying heavily on my mind.  I knew that God was wanting to reveal something to me so I spent some time researching and praying over these two phrases, and this is what I discovered.

  1. Being thankful means that we acknowledge and value the gifts that we have been given: meaning that we truly appreciate and acknowledge the tremendous worth of our shelter, food, our family, etc., etc.
  2. Giving thanks means that we acknowledge and value the GIVER- the ONE who supplied us with those gifts: meaning that we truly appreciate and acknowledge God as our one and only true provider!

Why are being thankful and giving thanks so important for us as Christians? It is these two things that can help us move closer to the heart of Christ! It is these two things which can help us GROW as Christians! Being thankful and giving thanks are synonyms for gratitude.  Research shows that gratitude is the key to building and maintaining strong relationships.  Maintaining and building our daily gratitude towards God can DEEPEN and STRENGTHEN our relationship with him.  If we want to grow a more intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father, we need to focus our hearts on gratitude!

Why is gratitude so important in relationships?

Here is an excerpt from a website I found:

*Note, this except is referring to “earthly relationships,” but I think the ideas behind the references fit perfectly with our relationship with God!


We’ve found that gratitude is good in large part because it helps us create and hold onto our close relationships. In research by Sara Algoe and colleagues, grateful couples were more satisfied in their relationships and felt closer to each other.

When I examine the role of gratitude in relationships, I’m not just looking at what happens when people say “thanks” after their partners take out the trash. My definition of gratitude includes appreciating not just what your partner does, but who they are as a person. You’re not just thankful that your partner took out the trash—you’re thankful that you have a partner who is thoughtful enough to know you hate taking out the trash. Gratitude means thinking about all your partner’s best traits and remembering why you got into a relationship with them in the first place.

Connecting the ideas from this excerpt to our relationship with God:

  1. Grateful Christians are more satisfied and feel CLOSER to God
  2. Grateful Christians think not only about the “gifts” but more importantly they meditate daily on God’s incredible and loving traits.
  3. Grateful Christians work to remember why they got into a relationship with Christ Jesus in the first place. They strive to never forget their immense NEED for God. Grateful Christians value God’s incredible LOVE for them, his PROVISIONS, and his FORGIVENESS.


In conclusion, if we truly desire a deeper and more intimate relationship with our Lord, we must live each-and-every day with a heart of GOD-FOCUSED THANSGIVING!

If you desire a deeper and more intimate relationship with God, then why not begin your new life of God-Focused Thanksgiving TODAY!

We would love for you to join our Facebook group for more inspirational devotions and Christian coloring pages: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447039392265675/


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