November 2021

Is it Enough to Be Thankful?

To be thankful is to also be grateful. The implication here is that you have been blessed by someone, in some way, and it creates in you a desire to return that blessing or pay it forward. As I thought about our culture (which is changing faster than these monthly articles), I realized that this is a definite change in the way people interact with one another today. There is no love for our neighbor, no respect for those we encounter, and sadly, no such thing as common courtesy anymore.
As I contemplated the writing of this article, I pulled up the definition of the word “thankful”. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, here is their current definition:
Thankful, adjective definition of thankful:

  1. conscious of benefit received ex. for what we are about to receive makes us truly thankful
  2. expressive of thanks ex. thankful service
  3. well pleased: GLAD ex. was thankful that it didn’t rain

What?! I know I have reached the realm of “seasoned” but I could not believe how the definition had changed so drastically! When I read this, it seemed so watered down. Like when you finally get to drink your soda…and it is so watered down it has no flavor. After I got over my bout of sadness, I pulled up Old Faithful. My dictionary of choice when I was homeschooling was Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (free online). So, I typed in the same word, “thankful”, here is their definition:

THANK’FUL, adjective grateful; impressed with a sense of kindness received, and ready to acknowledge it. Ex. The Lord’s supper is to be celebrated with a thankful remembrance of His sufferings and death. …be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. Psalms 100:4b.
Do you see the difference? As much as I love Webster, it seems those who were entrusted with his work have taken some liberties. They took out “grateful” and only used “thankful.” Some of you may think I am splitting hairs, but I think there is a lesson here. We need to make sure that we are teaching, what we think we are teaching. Times are changing and it is our responsibility to be vigilant. If my boys were still home, this would be part of a lesson on being thankful AND grateful.
I believe that to be truly thankful, we must also be grateful. I will say this is a “heart condition.” Make sure when you teach your children that you draw the big picture for them. Why? Because if we don’t teach them…who will?

Please click on the green speech bubble to post your comments and share ways that you will be teaching this lesson to your children. We are stronger together!
This Thanksgiving, may we all truly be thankful and grateful!

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