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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk: Being Thankful

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  November 7, 2016 --

It seems to me that there is a significant difference between giving thanks and being thankful. The first may be only an outward verbal or visual act, while the second is primarily internal, something you think or feel or experience. It is possible to give thanks without that internal component, thanking without really meaning it, but since God sees what is in your heart I’m sure God prefers that we feel thankful internally, whether or not we express it externally. St. Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, instructs us:

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Of course, being thankful internally it is only fitting that we also express that thankfulness by giving thanks externally. In Psalm 30 we find: “That my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”

Being thankful is not only the right thing to do, and good for your spiritual well-being, it turns out that it is also good for your mental and physical health. An article in The Huffington Post from November of 2012 describes “10 Reasons Why Gratitude is Healthy” including it boosts well-being, it makes you a better friend to others, it helps you sleep better, it improves relationships, it benefits the heart, and it has been linked to a better immune system.

But we should not only be thankful individually; we should come together with others to share our mutual thankfulness for God’s provision for our needs. What is more appropriate to this season of the year than to live out the words of that grand old hymn:

Come, ye thankful people, come,

Raise the song of harvest home;

All is safely gathered in,

Ere the winter storms begin.

God our Maker doth provide

For our wants to be supplied;

Come to God’s own temple, come,

Raise the song of harvest home.


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