Does gratitude matter? Are you a thankful person? I’m not necessarily referring to saying grace for a meal, a mumbled prayer hurriedly spoken to get on to the first fork full. I’m asking does gratitude characterize you as a person? Do people who know you say, “You know, they are really a gracious, grateful person.”
Interestingly, the Apostle Paul lists characteristics of “last days” kind of people. One of the words squeezed in a list of horrible acts and attitudes is the word “ungrateful.” As time draws closer to an end, people become characterized by ungratefulness. We aren’t thankful. You know, it requires humility to be thankful. Saying “thanks” means someone gave something to me or did something for me that put me in their debt. Gratitude doesn’t repay the debt, but acknowledges that it exists. Being gracious means I am indebted to another for gifts given that I do not deserve or could not repay.
Are you a thankful person? I believe God notices gratitude. And I also believe He notices ingratitude! Just like you do. So what do I thank God for? Here’s a rule of thumb and a place to begin: Thank Him for anything you want repeated. In reality, we thank God in everything (notice: not for everything!). But in every circumstance, every situation, every part of life….give thanks. For this, Paul tells us, is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us.
Give thanks. With grateful, overflowing, indebted hearts. Give thanks. And then. …do it again.