3. Verbal Gratitude
Slide 2 of 6
We commonly thank people for holding the door, getting us a gift, or helping out when we’re in need, and this a great start! But have you ever thought about why we routinely thank people for some acts—like holding the door—but rarely thank people who do other acts?
Do we thank our spouse who takes out the trash, a church volunteer who consistently shows up, or an employee who does a great job?
One word: Expectations. We tend to overlook actions we expect—that is, until our expectations aren’t met. Case in point: how did you respond the last time a co-worker did something well? How did you respond when that same co-worker dropped the ball? If you’re like most folks, you barely noticed the first instance and could barely forget the second.
Expressing gratitude over seemingly insignificant actions—even expected actions—increases the happiness of both the person who expresses thanks and the person who receives thanks. One study found that the single most important factor in determining satisfaction is feeling appreciated.
Saying “thank-you” improves relational satisfaction, which in turn, makes us more grateful! Don’t overlook the small stuff. Power up gratitude by telling people “thank you” regularly.
4. Circumstantial Gratitude
Most of us tend to express gratitude over life’s blessings, but it’s challenging to be grateful when circumstances are less than ideal. We’d rather wait to give thanks until our life aligns with our likes.
Yet God tells us in 1Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all things, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Few verses spell out God’s will quite as clearly. Why does God instruct us to give thanks in all circumstances? Is God asking the impossible?
First, notice God tells us to give thanks in all circumstances, not for all circumstances. When we give thanks in a difficulty, it’s easier to get through the difficulty. God instructs us to give thanks in all things not for His benefit, but for ours.
How can we give thanks in an unwanted circumstance? Start by thanking God for His presence in the midst of the circumstance. Acknowledge His sovereignty over the circumstance. Thank God that He provides wisdom for the circumstance. Tell God “thank-you” for how He will use the circumstance.
Thank Him that one day every circumstance will be made right, and every tear will be wiped away.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/fizkes