Gratitude

W. Terry Varner
November 23, 2014

Are you thankful? Do you express gratitude to others? Do express gratitude to God for all His blessings you enjoy? Nothing is more shameful that ingratitude, especially the Christian toward God.

The lead actor in a scene in the classic Western movie, “Shenandoah,” was asked to give thanks before they ate. His response: “Why should I thank anyone for this food, I worked to grow it.”

In direct contrast consider the Pilgrims who colonized New England. Probably few people worked harder or with poorer tools to raise crops to survive on. Their first harvest, though meager, produced the day of Thanksgiving. They invited their Indian neighbors in appreciation of their help. The Pilgrims Thanksgiving has become a synonym for the autumnal holiday season we look forward to yearly. It is a time when families and friends gather for a meal and fellowship. I trust you will be able to be with family and friends this special day.

Have the Attitude of Thanksgiving (Gratitude). If there was ever an attitude that should describe the Christian it is thanksgiving. David writes: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise, be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truths endures to all generations” (Ps. 100:4-5).

Helen Keller wrote some sobering words: “I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days at some time during his early adult life. Darkness would make him appreciative of sight; silence would teach him the joys of sound.” She continued later saying: “I who am blind, can give one hint to those who see: use your eyes as if tomorrow you would be stricken blind. . . . Touch each object you want to touch as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never smell and taste again. Make the most of every sense; glory in all the facets of pleasure and beauty.”

Helen Keller says some good things. Having two eves that can see, but see not, is far worse than having two that see not but can see. The quality of gratitude will allow each of us to have the spiritual perception we need to appreciate, not only in the world of creation, but in the Creator of the world.

Thanksgiving (Gratitude) Produces Contentment. Most if not all have seen the picture titled “Grace.” It is an elderly man sitting at a table. Before him is a bowl of soup and a loaf of bread. His hands are clasped in thanksgiving as he bows in prayer. Also, a book, worn well with age, sits on the table and on the top of the book are his reading glasses. Around him is a warm glow of the sunlight of contentment. The picture is a man of very simple means, but he has the world at his feet. He knows life. He thanks God for his food as he becomes the richest man on earth for he knows Who gave him his bread and he is content with it. In a world of great discontent, the world could learn how to be grateful from both Helen Keller and the man in the picture titled, “Grace.” Contentment escapes so many people. Gratitude is lacking in so many people. Perhaps, the reason for the lack of contentment is the lack of gratitude. Paul understood and knew the value of contentment. “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Philip. 4:11).

We must quit thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Let us have an attitude of gratitude and it will help us to be content. Be thankful for all the material and spiritual blessings of life.