How Much Gratitude Is Enough? - The Crosswalk Devotional - July 16
How Much Gratitude Is Enough?
By Aaron D’Anthony Brown
“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
How Much Gratitude Is Enough?
Has there ever been a person who existed that was so grateful they annoyed people by just how grateful they were? Maybe. Would you describe yourself as that sort of person? Maybe not. Gratitude does not come naturally for many of us. From the moment we begin childhood, our parents begin to tell us, “Say, ‘Thank you.’”
They say it once, then twice, then again and again. They keep telling us with the hope that one day we’ll learn to utter the words on our own. No reminders are needed. But if we’re honest about our human nature, we realize the unfortunate truth. We will always need reminders, no matter our age.
Whether that’s saying thank you to our parents for dinner, to our spouses for their affection, or to our children for completing chores. Saying thank you is how we show someone else both acknowledgment and appreciation.
There are times we forget to say thank you when we mean to, but there are other times when we don’t consider saying thank you, but we should. The reason we don’t always say thank you is that we don’t always acknowledge the good deeds of others, nor are we always appreciative. Sometimes we simply expect people to behave a certain way.
And that’s just considering people. How often do we forget to give thanks to God? Or do we just expect Him to act a certain way too? Giving thanks may not be natural, but it is worthwhile.
Showing appreciation strengthens relationships, builds trust, and keeps us humble. No one appreciates a boss who doesn’t know the significance of saying, “Thank you.” We dislike when our spouses take us for granted. And we too, much like our parents, want our kids to give thanks. We know the effects of feeling appreciation. Now let’s reconsider the question, how much gratitude is enough? The answer is that there is never enough.
Your spouse, child, or anyone else may get tired of hearing those two words constantly, but they will never tire of being appreciated. God is a bit different. He doesn’t tire of our appreciation either, but unlike people, he won’t tell us not to give thanks.
How Much Gratitude Is Enough for God?
Scripture is clear about one thing - God desires for us to give thanks. Moreover, we’re commanded to give thanks in everything. The good, the bad, the ugly. Everything. But just how much gratitude is enough? Well, there is no limit. Where people may get tired of hearing “thank you,” God will not. How do we know this?
Scripture says to “rejoice always.” How could we rejoice without thanksgiving? Rejoicing requires a state of being happy. There is no happiness apart from gratitude. Plus, no one in recorded history has ever said that God grew tired of them saying thanks. Just the thought sounds absurd.
If there were a limit, most of us, if any, would never reach such a level anyway. We’re flawed and sinful. Our pride keeps us expecting without giving. We have to fight within ourselves to keep from being selfish. Still, God loves us nonetheless, giving us all the more reason to be thankful for our days, every day, here on this Earth.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
There can never be enough gratitude but showing gratitude one particular way can be cumbersome sometimes. Keep things fresh with variations in how you express thanks. Words are one way, but actions are another.
Showing Gratitude to Others
- Say, “Thank you”
- Spend time one-on-one
- Perform an act of service
- Take on a date
- Buy a gift
- Prepare a dinner, lunch, or breakfast
- Movie night
- Ask for ways to help
- Write a thank you note
Showing Gratitude to God
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Say a prayer of gratitude
- Keep His commandments
- Read Scripture
- Talk about your blessings with Him
- Talk about your blessings with others
- Serve the Lord
- Serve other people
- Keep God first
For Further Reading:
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/AaronAmat
Aaron D'Anthony Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes work to iBelieve, Crosswalk, and supports various clients through the platform Upwork. He's an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo. Check out his short story “Serenity.”