When I was a little girl and my mom would ask me to do something, sometimes I didn’t want to do what she asked. But I also knew that it’s not real cool to tell your mom, “No, I’m not doing that!”
So I would do what she asked, but often with “an attitude,” meaning I would do it in a rude or unpleasant way. I wasn’t doing it out of love for my mom, but because I had to.
As a faithful steward (manager) of all that God has given us—our time, our abilities, our money and possessions, our bodies, the environment—He asks us to be grateful, but with a different kind of attitude. His Word calls it an attitude of thanksgiving. “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20, NIV).
God wants us to enjoy the gifts He gives us, even when they require us to do things we don’t always want to do. For example, He asks to give one seventh of our time back to Him, which is what we call Sabbath. In honoring Him on that day, we can be grateful that we have a day to rest and enjoy His creation and spend time with our friends at church.
He asks us to return to him one tenth of what we earn as a way of being grateful that He gave us the ability to earn it.
He also asks us to do good things for other people as a way to help them and to show His kindness.
Plus, did you know that people who practice being grateful are much happier and do better in school? Who knew that being thankful and practicing gratitude would help you do better on your math test!
“Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ”
(Eph. 5:20, NIV).
Ways to “Practice” Gratitude
This could be in the form of thanking someone personally for something they did, said, or gave you. Or you could write a thank-you note.
Name Your Blessings
Think about this song: “Count your blessings, name them one by one; count your blessings, see what God hath done.” It’s good advice. Take a few minutes each day to think about what you’re thankful for.
I know you’ve heard this since you were really young, but it’s true. Set aside toys and clothes in good condition that you and your family can deliver to others in need. Being grateful for what we have helps us more easily notice others who don’t have the blessings we do.