It occurred to me that we have a Thanksgiving Day, but not a "Praisegiving" day.
Trying the "Praisegiving" concept out in my imagination turned out to be a radically different day.
I imagined people going around communicating the things they admire to others in their communities. There was less turkey and more semi-awkward confessions of admiration for others.
It wasn't the most natural feel for a holiday. My wager is that food and family gatherings work better for that.
Thanksgiving day is connected to "what I'm thankful for." Thanksgiving has absorbed a shade of selfish reflection and individualistic appreciation. At least for me, I hope to meditate more on the "giving" part of the equation in the coming years.
What is the relation between thanks and praise?
A thankful heart can be an integral part of praise, but it's not the only factor. Praise stems from a recognition of worthiness or admiration of something.
Merriam-Webster says that when used as a noun, praise is:
- An expression of approval
Incidentally, our world is engaged in praising World Cup soccer teams. For some, it is the worship of soccer players and their teams. We respect top athletes for their skills, physical fitness, and dedication to a rigorous sport. To some extent, we honor countries for fielding a solid team that year.
How much more worthy is God of praise?
In Him, we live and move and have our being. Naturally and permanently perfect, God is the definition of deserving. Assuming he entered a team or played the World Cup matches alone, no one questions his ability to win an overwhelming victory.
Praise is similar to worship, and in the interest of space, I won't try to dissect the two words here. Recognition of God and thankfulness to God are essential for proper worship. Worship includes living according to God's standards and commands. He is looking for people to worship Him in spirit and truth.
We are thankful for the uncountable good gifts our Father gives us. We are grateful to Him for everything seen and unseen. We thank Him for family, friends, work, and life.
We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good; if bad, because it works in us patience, humility, contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country. -C. S. Lewis
Thank you, God, for the blessing of Jesus, who restores us now and guarantees an unshakable eternity for all who trust Him.