How important is gratitude? And what priority does it have in our lives?
The first chapter opens by telling the story of a little girl who was living in the author's home at the time, and how she is being trained to say "thank you". This story made me chuckle, not because it is funny, but because Josiah is currently learning to say "thank you" and "sorry", and when I sat down to read, it hadn't been that long since he had started crying because he was told to tell Bethi thank you for changing his diaper, haha. I think that acknowledging that we need something from someone else, and that they gave it, goes against our human nature. We want to be able to do it all! But those simple words of thanks are an important- and critical- part of life. It humbles us. It encourages those who have been there for us and helped us through a need, no matter how "insignificant".
Stop and think for a moment... if others only helped you in ways that you thanked them for, would you get much help in your life? This can be a good gauge of our gratitude. Would we still have help in things like carrying food out to the table when it's our night to make supper? Somebody bringing us an item from upstairs when we have to stay downstairs for some reason? Help folding those big bed sheets?
While we might be able to do these things alone sometimes, there are times that we are in a hurry, and the whole family has to pitch in to do anything in time. Have we thought about what a blessing those people are to us in those times? Have we thanked them?
How about God? What if he only gave us what he thanked us for? Have we thanked him recently for air? For keeping our heart beating?
Gratitude is the starting point for true heart-felt service to our Lord. While some may feel like they must work to be saved, or that they don't need to do anything because the Lord has already done it all, a grateful heart will do all he asks simply because they want to give a small gift back to their Savior. Our thanks is an act of worship!
This is definitely something I am working on. The devotional in the back of the book for today was actually on a humble heart fit to give thanks to God (I didn't plan that!). I was reading through it, and I realized that I could think of several instances just in the past 24 hours where my pride had been the cause of ingratitude! The Lord is never done growing us and rooting out weeds until we stand before him at his throne!
Will you join me today in making a point to thank God and others for what they do for you?
These "Thankful" blog posts are inspired by Nancy Leigh DeMoss's book "Choosing Gratitude" :).