Gratitude and Thankfulness

by StephB on March 17, 2011

Is gratitude the same as thankfulness? I would say there is a subtle difference. Thankfulness has the connotation of being directed at the object or action received. Gratitude, on the other hand, is directed toward the giver.

One secret to happy Christian living is gratitude. It is more than being thankful for that which God has provided. It is being thankful to the Giver.

When times are hard, try gratitude. We did a little exercise the other day where I asked my boys, “What is the thing you are least thankful about in your life right now?” Then we came up with three things we could be thankful about related to that thing, even in the midst of our dislike for the condition or circumstance we didn’t like. We showed our thanks by expressing gratitude toward God for the things we could appreciate.

It is life-changing when you can dislike something, but still be grateful for things related to it. Think about the way this would change your relationship with your spouse or that errant child, or anyone else for that matter. If you habitually focus on the things you don’t like, then take that very attribute and focus on three things you can appreciate instead, how would that change your relationships? Try it, then let me know.

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