Thanksgiving is more than a holiday that happens once a year on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving is a daily practice that increases the manifestation of good in our world and affairs. The challenge with embracing thanksgiving as an integral part of our day, every day is the enemies of thanksgiving: comparisons and criticisms.
Whenever we compare ourselves to someone else, we are not operating in thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has nothing to do with doing better or worse than someone else. Often when there are natural disasters or crisis, we think it could have been me and began to thank God that it wasn’t. True thanksgiving is never based on the misfortune of someone else; its only focus is the goodness of God in our lives.
Criticism is another enemy of thanksgiving. God has not called us to invest time and energy in speaking negative words to or about someone else. When we say things with the intention of hurting someone else because they have hurt us or others–that is destructive criticism.
The goal of constructive criticism is to help the other person by starting with the positive and then giving them areas for improvement. However, any criticism that is unsolicited can be destructive. We are not the authority on the lives of others. If they desire our opinion, they will ask for it. When people ask questions, they are saying that they are ready to receive the answer.
Instead of comparing ourselves to others, be grateful for what we have and where we are on our journeys. Instead of criticizing others, appreciate them for what they do and how they add value to our lives. The more we decrease comparisons and criticisms, the more that we will be able to embrace thanksgiving.