The operational definition of gratefulness is “making known to God and others in what ways they have benefited my life.” What would happen if no one ever taught you how to read instructions, road signs, or the Bible? How long would you live if you never received food? What would you do if no one provided a roof over your head? Even the very breath needed for life is a gift God has given to you! Every day you can find reasons and opportunities to appreciate what God and others do on your behalf. Recognizing these gifts and those individuals who have given them is the first step in developing a grateful attitude. Gratefulness is then complete when you take that extra time and care to demonstrate outwardly through your words or actions how much you inwardly appreciate what they have done for you.
The opposite of gratefulness is unthankfulness. An unthankful person does not notice how much others have done for him. He may proudly think, “I did such a good job!” without acknowledging those who have helped or trained him. He forgets to say “Thank you,” but rather has the attitude that he deserves certain benefits or favors. He might even murmur or show displeasure with another’s act of kindness toward him, if the deed was not done to his satisfaction. Because he is self-centered, he is also unable to see the efforts of others and how he is blessed by them. The one who is ungrateful misses the opportunity to encourage those around him with a contented attitude, a cheerful countenance, and a verbal appreciation for their efforts.
- Is giving thanks a consistent part of my prayer life?
- When I profit in some way, do I consider who made it possible for me?
- Do I overlook the good others do for me because I expect them to give to me?
- Am I prompt in showing gratefulness to those who have benefited my life?
- Has my gratitude to God and others motivated me to freely invest in someone else?
- Do others hear me express thanks to the ones who have invested in my life?
- Would my family say that my face and my words reflect a grateful spirit?
- When I am tempted to murmur or complain, do I look for reasons to be thankful?
More About Gratefulness
God enables me to:
Recognize the gift.
Stop murmuring and complaining.
Make time for gratitude.
Count my blessings rather than my burdens.
See His hand.
Show my parents and teachers that I appreciate them.
Take care of my things.
Be content with what I have.
Gratefulness in Scripture
The Samaritan Leper Returns
Revealed in Nature
Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum
View the Gratefulness booklet sample:
Free Resources for Gratefulness
Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!