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Thankfulness and Gratitude

This is about what it means to me to be thankful and why I need to show gratitude.

Being thankful is about being pleased and relieved, an adjective that describes how we feel. Gratitude, on the other hand is the quality of being thankful coupled with a readiness to show appreciation and return kindness. Gratitude is about our character. (Curt Hinkle, n.d.)

I find that sometimes when I feel things are going well I need to step back and focus on these two words. The first comes rather easy, it is a natural reaction to how I feel when things are going well, and especially when I am on the receiving end. The problem - while a good thing, it is an internal feeling.

Interacting with people (whether family member, a co-worker/volunteer or a street friend), I sometimes forget that I need to do more than to be “thankful”. After all, a gift, whether it is physical, an action or even a kind word, is an act of love. When I do not accept a gift and show gratitude to God and those he put in my path to show me grace, I rob them of their opportunity live scripture, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35 (NIV)

Lastly, for me to stay thankful and to continuously show gratitude, I have to repent - not like an annual New Years resolution - or even a daily thing, it can be many, many times a day. “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8 (NIV)

I do this because to be prosperous for me means to live like Jesus, but yet I am a mere man. Try as I may, I will never earn my way to heaven. I have to remember it is only by Jesus’ grace I will get there and so I should honour God and all of his children for this fact, all of the time. This is what it means to me to be Thankful and why I need to show Gratitude.

~Brian Griffin, Volunteer Coordinator

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