…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
There’s a little children’s song that begins something like this: “Are you humbly grateful, or grumbly hateful? What’s your attitude?” Although written for a children’s musical, the message is clear for everyone.
Maybe you’ve gone out for coffee with friends or family, and decided you were going to treat the group and pick up the check. It was your idea; no one forced you to do it. When you paid the bill, some of your guests expressed their appreciation with kind words of gratitude. But others just seemed to accept the fact that you were paying: not a word of gratitude from their lips. How did you feel about that?
The Bible has much to say about gratitude, especially giving thanks to God or honoring him with praise. The Bible also talks about ingratitude, and the effect it has on both the ungrateful person as well as those around them. Recall the stories of the Israelites in the wilderness, or Jesus’ encounters with those who took his healing for granted.
And I’d guess every one of us has our own stories of encountering both grateful and ungrateful people. Yet we might be less quick to tell stories of how we ourselves have failed to show gratitude when it was due.
As you observe the lives of those who are grateful in spite of circumstances, and also those who are not. You know that true gratitude comes from knowing and loving God and desiring to serve him, no matter the situation.