We have heard about wearing an attitude of gratitude in all aspects of life. The term can be heard in professional settings, be seen trending on social media, and is the motto for many communities and groups. In Christianity, the concept of being thankful is considered part of belief. It can be found in the first letter of the Thessalonians, which states:
"In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (Thessalonians 5:18)
Scripture says that Jesus' followers must remember to be thankful in all walks of life because it is what God wants for them. However, the Bible takes a slightly different approach from the arbitrary phrase of "attitude of gratitude." It recognizes both the joys and the sufferings of life.
Understanding The Term "Attitude of Gratitude"
Gratitude is a positive emotion people feel towards someone or something they are thankful for. It can be as simple as saying, "thank you," or "I'm grateful for what you did for me." At the core of gratitude is the idea that we should not take things for granted and be thankful to those who have done something good for us. This is a useful mindset to have in life because it helps us to appreciate the little things in life and be more grateful.
Gratitude is More Than Just Saying Thank You
Gratitude is the feeling that comes from being grateful for something or someone. It is a deep appreciation for life and all of the kindness given to us by those around us. But it also includes saying words of thanks.
For instance, if God were to give you something you have been asking for, you would be grateful for the gift and would say, "Thank you, God." But real gratitude is a special feeling of being thankful, recognizing the blessings in your life, and feeling blessed. It can sometimes also be expressed through actions (e.g., giving back to the community or volunteering).
Is Attitude of Gratitude Found in the Bible?
Although the term attitude of gratitude is not found in the Bible, the roots of this term are certainly biblical. Many verses in the Bible revolve around gratefulness and thankfulness. This includes the following:
"Give thanks in your heart" (Psalm 103:2)
"That which is said of me by my enemies I do not hear because they were taught to begrudge and hate, but as for me, I have learned to give thanks and praise" (Proverbs 28:27)
"Who is grateful always, even when he does not receive anything from God" (James 1:17)
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness" (Colossians 2:6-7)
According to the Bible, one cannot limit the thanks one can offer. The holy scripture commands the followers of Jesus to overflow with thankfulness because they have received Jesus as their Savior. No matter what they go through in life, whether it is joy or sorrow, they can keep their hearts and eyes on Jesus and their hopes high.
The act of being grateful is a way to acknowledge God's bounty. When we are thankful for what we have, it makes us more receptive to receiving more blessings. You can simply say ‘thank you’ for appreciating something. But real gratitude goes beyond mere words. It means you appreciate what was given to you and realize its worth.