Directing Your Gratitude

It’s been a while since I wrote about gratitude, but I’ve still been thinking about it. There’s been a lot going on, not just with my book, but also family stuff and unexpected news and decisions that need to be made. Some good, some not so good.

But through it all, there’s been plenty to be grateful for.  And the one thought that keeps coming to mind, regarding gratitude, is this:

WHOM are you grateful TO?

Gratitude is not specific to Christians. Anyone in the world can be thankful for life, for good things, even for blessings in hard things. Just like anyone in the world can be honest, or kind, or gentle.

But what makes it distinctly Christian is not just being grateful, but being grateful TO someone. More specifically, being grateful to God.

As Christians, everything in our lives should be about God. He created us, He redeemed us, He sustains us. And so, to feel thankful for something, but not offer thanks to the One who gave it, is like rejecting the Giver in favor of the gift. Or worshiping the creation more than the Creator.

In other words:

  • Don’t just stand there and appreciate the beauty of nature — offer thanks to the One who created it.
  • Don’t just feel thankful for good relationships —  offer thanks to the One who placed your family together and directed your friendships.
  • Don’t just feel happy about favorite foods, sweet music, or beautiful art — offer thanks to the One who generously gives you good things to enjoy.

Christian gratitude is always directed to God. {<–tweet that!}

Saying thank you to God is a simple thing, but it directs your thoughts to the One who created everything for your enjoyment. And you can go a step further, by expressing gratitude for a specific aspect of His character that is portrayed in that moment.

Let’s try it. Feel free to add your own gratitudes in the comment section!

Gratitude

This week I’m thankful to God for:

  • marriage, and how He uses it to teach us about Christ’s love for His bride
  • creating an intricate and beautiful world for us to explore
  • His grace that is sufficient for even the most challenging days
  • progress in getting published, as He directs my steps according to His perfect plan
  • homemade bread, and the reminder that He provides all our needs
  • farmer’s markets, another place to enjoy His bountiful creation
  • wisdom in making decisions, which He gives generously to all who ask
  • time off from school & work, because it lets us delight in God’s gifts
  • good music, created by man who is fashioned after the Great Creator of all

What are you thankful for today — and why?

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Directing Your Gratitude

  1. I will be honest, Elizabeth, I am not feeling terribly grateful at this very moment. Our bags are packed, the boat is ready, the kids are in the car and we are meeting friends on a lake for the long weekend. I have much to be thankful for. However, it is raining, I am exhausted and I am anticipating our pack out and move in less than a month. Simply put, I am grouchy, short tempered, and unappreciative of most everything at this moment. However, thanks to your post and shared wisdom, my prayer is that I will choose to turn my attitude around very soon and soon be singing praises again. Thank you my friend.

    1. It sounds like you’re having a rough day. 🙁 So sorry, friend! I will pray that your weekend improves and that God will open your eyes to the many blessings you have to be grateful for! He is good, all the time!

      (P.S. Thanks for your honesty!)

  2. I am grateful that God softens the hearts of unbelievers to show kindness to us in common grace. Specifically, I am grateful for my sister, who shows me such love and kindness in a difficult family situation.

    1. Don’t you love when God’s character is shown through people who don’t know Him? Just proves that we are all created in HIS image – and gives even more reason to show His love and compassion to everyone we meet.

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