It’s Thanksgiving week, a uniquely American holiday of gratitude.

And guilt.

Lots of folks will express thanks for God’s bounty as they stuff the turkey and themselves. Maybe they’ll even say thanks as they rush through the stores (or click around the web) grabbing bargains.

But some of us, maybe you, maybe me, will feel guilty. We’ll feel guilty because we simply don’t feel thankful.

Might be difficult relationships, health issues, pain, grief, depression. All sorts of situations may make it hard to feel that sense of thankfulness. So we hide, paste on a smile, and pretend – and feel guilty about the dishonesty.

This whole crazy dance is based on two lies.

Lie #1: Jesus told us to feel thankful. On the night He was betrayed, Jesus told His friends He was overwhelmed with sorrow. I do not think He felt “thankful” for what He was about to endure. Still, at dinner, He gave thanks.

Lie #2: Feelings tell the truth. If I don’t feel thankful, it’s because there’s nothing to be thankful for, right? Our enemy wins when we listen to lies like that.

Paul guides us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” Not *for* all circumstances.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could always feel thankful? Yeah, but this isn’t heaven. Best we can do is be okay with not feeling okay, stop piling guilt on top of other struggles, and move forward.

And be thankful.

Scroll to top