When Gratitude Isn’t Enough

Gratitude is the “recognition of a benefit received”. It’s sad to realize that we don’t always take the time to list the many benefits we receive every day. But I think it’s even sadder when we recognize the good we have received, but don’t bother verbalize that recognition loud and clear.

Remember the well-known story of the ten lepers in Luke 17: 11-19? Jesus healed ten, but only one returned to thank Him for the blessing he had received. Only one demonstrated gratitude and received another blessing for doing so. But the Bible doesn’t say that others were ungrateful or that they weren’t happy to be healed. The nine went on their way and were, in fact, fulfilling the order that Jesus Himself had given: “Go and present yourselves to the priests”.

We often go through life in the same way. Fulfilling orders, that is, doing what we should do. And that’s right and good. In fact, how nice it would be if everyone just did what they were supposed to, right? But what a difference it makes when, even in the performance of duty, someone shows gratitude!

The other day a friend called me, telling me about how she was hurting. I spent a long time talking—or rather, listening—to her. Usually, at the end of such conversations, we say: “I’m sorry to unload all of this on you, but I really needed to get it off my chest.” But instead, she said, “Thank you for listening to me so patiently and for sharing your time with me.” I confess I was impressed! I think in the end, both sentences express the same sentiment, but how nice it was to hear the second!

Are we showing gratitude in our relationships? We may recognize that we have a caring husband, close friends, kind children, wonderful parents, but do they know that we are happier because of their existence? Do they know that life is lighter because of their company?

Cultivate tenderness, affection, and love that have expression in little courtesies, in speech, in thoughtful attentions.

Adventist Home, 198

Feeling gratitude isn’t enough. We need to speak, express, demonstrate it.

Gratitude in the mind is a good thought, “healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).

Gratitude expressed is a shared blessing, the scent of life to life and praise to our God. How can you express gratitude today?

Having a hard time cultivating gratitude? Click here for some easy ways to create the habit of thankfulness.

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