The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
With the numerous “I Am Thankful For Lists…” all over social media I have been contemplating what gratitude can truly mean. Or better yet, what it should mean and how it can be fleshed out in our lives. Give thanks with a grateful heart has always rang true to me. I think I know what it means to be grateful. I recognize that blessings have been heaped upon myself and my family.
Life has been fairly safe and predictable. I grew up in a loving home, did well in school, had lots of friends, went to college, lived in some cool places, got married, have happy healthy kids, great friends, etc. I do not have to look far to see the countless things to be grateful for. A reflection of my faith is knowing that all things come from a God that loves me beyond measure. There is nothing that I have done to earn and/or deserve His favor. He just freely gives. But there is so much more to my role than just merely recognizing what I need to be grateful for.
My job is figuring out how can I live differently because of my thankfulness? How does my grateful heart need to be seen on the outside by the people that I come into contact with? I need to live differently because of the many blessings that I have received. Easier said than done…but totally worth the challenge.
I love what the dictionary definition says above: “the quality of being thankful” and “to return kindness.” These two things alone have the sole power to perpetuate gratefulness from one person to another. What power we have been given! Acts of kindness don’t need to be random!
I bet you can think of three people off the top of your head that could use a blessing today. I am going to examine the quality of my thankfulness and return kindness to somebody that could use it (somebody that probably really deserves it!). I want to leave them experiencing the grateful heart that hopefully I am learning to understand.