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Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Posted by [email protected] on 11 December, 2021 at 16:35

Gratitude, thankfulness or gratefulness, from the Latin word gratus "pleasing, thankful", is a feeling of appreciation felt by and/or similar positive response shown by the recipient of kindness, gifts, help, favors, or other types of generosity, to the giver of said gifts. Wikipedia

Gratitude means thanks and appreciation. When you feel gratitude, you're pleased by what someone did for you and also pleased by the results. Unlike indebtedness, you're not anxious about having to pay it back. To show biblical gratitude is to give goodness and grace to others, as the giver has first received from God. It means to extend the joy of receiving to others and God through gestures of kindness and goodness.

As a Christian, it’s important to have a solid understanding of thankfulness and gratitude. And once you have a firm foundation, you can participate in a deeper and more God-honoring way of living out thankfulness and gratitude as scripture describes them. As you pursue growth in this area of your life, you will find that choosing to have a heart of gratitude not only honors God, but blesses you. Grateful people experience more joy in life and are more of a joy to be around. But becoming grateful is not easy. Gratitude isn’t natural, it must be cultivated.

To better understand how the Bible defines and differentiates gratitude and thankfulness, we’ll look at several verses and get a deeper feel from the original Greek text as well as the context in which the words are used. First, take a look at Colossians 3:16-17. Verse 16 uses the word, “gratitude,” and verse 17 uses the word “thanks” (or giving thanks). “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts,” (Colossians 3:16, NIV). “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him,” (Colossians 3:17, NIV). “He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so” (Mark 8:6, NIV). Jesus also used it at the last supper. “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body,’” (Matthew 26:26, NIV).


In giving thanks, we acknowledge the Giver as well as the gift, and the Giver of all things is God. “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:4-10, NIV




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