The Attitude of Gratitude is at the heart of the Christian way of life. Once a little boy and his mother were walking through the produce department of their local grocery store. The Greengrocer noticed the lad and gave him a bright yellow banana. The little boy took it. His mother looked down and asked, “What do you say?” The boy held up the fruit and demanded, “Peel it.”
The Apostle Paul reminded the Ephesians that one of the ways for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to learn to be thankful:
“Be filled with the Spirit … giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Ephesians 5:20).
Doesn’t it seem like more and more people are subscribing to the “Ethics of Entitlement”? You hear it in phrases like “I deserve…” “What about me?” “I have my rights!” Social scientists talk about the “Fullness Phenomena”: The more we have, the less grateful we become.
Why be Thankful? Gratitude is an attractive quality and it should be the fruit of grace and the heart of worship. In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus heals ten lepers, but only one of them returns to say “Thank you!” I. Howard Marshall explains:
The story does not necessarily imply that the other nine lacked faith; the point is rather “that their faith was incomplete because it did not issue in gratitude,”
Gratitude is a powerful virtue. It opposes pride, envy, greed, and covetousness. It fills us with the blessings of the Holy Spirit. Today, make a special effort to say “Thank you!”
- “How do you feel when you do something nice for someone and they don’t even bother to say ‘thanks’?”
- Why didn’t the other nine lepers come back and say “Thank you” to Jesus? (Luke 17:11-19)
- Did Jesus expect them to say “Thank you”?
- Why is gratitude called the “fruit of faith”?
- Name three attractive qualities of a grateful person.
- Why is an “attitude of gratitude” the heart of worship?
- How will being thankful fill us with the Holy Spirit? (Ephesians 5:18-21)
The attitude of gratitude is the heart of worship and especially Christian ethics. Consider the difference between the “Ethics of Entitlement” (“I have my rights!”) and the “Attitude of Gratitude” (“Thank you.”) The first leads to constant friction and quarreling while the gentle spirit of gratitude sweetly enchants.