Thanksgiving vs Thanks-Living

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) was a British, Baptist preacher who was a great orator of his time and was known as the “Prince of Preachers.”  He remains popular today as he is well regarded and read across denominational lines especially among devotional readers and pastors.  If you have not read Spurgeon we would commend his Morning and Evening devotional as well as his commentary on the Psalms, The Treasury of David.  Spurgeon packs much into his comments, yet is still accessible and in the process moves the reader to more deeply treasure the Gospel.

The wording of this quote may feel antiquated but do not allow that to distract you from the meaning of it.  As we watch our scales tip a bit heavier after our Thanksgiving indulgences, we should not be too quick to leave our feelings of gratitude from last week.  This quote encourages us to pause and consider a more holistic approach to thanksgiving.

I think that is a better thing than thanksgiving: thanks-living. How is this to be done? By a general cheerfulness of manner, by an obedience to the command of Him by whose mercy we live, by a perpetual, constant delighting of ourselves in the Lord, and by a submission of our desires to His will.

The implications of thanks-living are different for all of us, especially when you think about how these ideas are applicable to our work:  How do we exhibit a cheerful manner when we are at work? Do the people we work and interact with know that our obedience is to Christ, the one who showers us with His mercy? Would our co-workers, clients, and vendors describe us as having a perpetual, constant delight in our work? Does humility ooze out of us because we have completely submitted our desires to His will? How do we handle criticism or professional setbacks? 

If this is a test, we fail.  However, our failure should not discourage us for two reasons.  First, at the risk of stating the obvious we all fall short.  Second, it is only by God’s grace that we have any hope of moving in these directions.  In this instance part of that grace is the gift of spiritual giants like Spurgeon who give us categories by which to think about thanks-living.

As we come down off our carb high from our respective Thanksgiving feasts, we should consider what thanks-living would look like in our personal and professional lives.


Crosland Stuart