Gratitude is an Attitude

by: Bill Bratt


How is your attitude on gratitude?

Websterís Dictionary defines the word "Gratitude" as: "An appreciative awareness and thankfulness, as for kindness shown or something received".

Is your attitude, your state of mind, your disposition that of gratitude? Are you appreciative, grateful and thankful for the kindness that others have extended to you? Are you appreciative and thankful for the blessings that God has given you?

God Bless America!

The United States of America has been blessed with unmeasurable blessings from sea to shining sea. We have been blessed as an industrial giant and have tremendous agricultural produce and reserves with rain in due season with abundant harvests. We have an abundance of mineral wealth including coal, aluminum, nickel, zinc, copper, lead, tin, bauxite and other precious metal outputs. We have the greatest economy in the world and the best health and medical services of hospitals, doctors and nurses. We have the best military in the world, and also the best educational facilities and opportunities in the world.

Where did we get all of this vast wealth, resources and blessings? Letís let President Abraham Lincoln answer: In Abraham Lincolnís proclamation of April 30, 1863, for a nationwide day of fasting and prayer, he said: "It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God ... and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.... We have been the recipients of the choicest blessings of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation ever has grown; but we have forgotten God! We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own."

Abraham Lincoln recognized that our blessings came from God. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning" (James 1:17).

We all want God to bless America and we want Him to bless us too!

Donít Forget to say Thank You!

If we want "gratitude" as an attitude then we have to develop an appreciative awareness and thankful attitude for kindness shown to us or something given to us. We have to learn to say "thank you".

Letís look at an example when Jesus performed a healing: "Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. {12} Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. {13} And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" {14} So when He saw them, He said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. {15} And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, {16} and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. {17} So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? {18} "Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" {19} And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well"" (Luke 17:11-19).

Did you notice that only one of the ten men who were healed thanked Jesus for his healing? This man was grateful and said "thank you".

Letís notice that in the last days that men will be very selfish and unthankful: "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: {2} For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, {3} unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, {4} traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Tim 3:1-4).

We need to overcome bad attitudes and develop good attitudes, especially the attitude of being grateful.

We also need to teach our children and our grandchildren to say "thank you". It takes work on our part to be aware as opportunities come up to teach our family the proper manners of saying "thank you". If we train our children to say "thank you" then we will be helping them in developing the "gratitude" attitude. "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov 22:6).

Donít Forget God!

In referring back to President Lincolnís proclamation, he also recognized that the citizens of his day had forgotten God.

Have you forgotten God?

We donít want to forget God, He is the giver of all good gifts: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning" (James 1:17).

Part of the definition of "gratitude" is being thankful for kindness shown and things received. God bestows much kindness, mercy and grace to us and He has given us unlimited blessings and has prospered us abundantly.

When people have it good and are prosperous they tend to loose sight of the fact that it was God who blessed them. Letís look at a warning from God: "For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, {13} and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, {14} that is the time to be careful. Do not become proud at that time and forget the LORD your God." (Deut. 8:12-14 NLT)

When people become proud they have a tendency to forget God. They do not want to listen to God.

God says in Jeremiah 22:21 (NKJV): "I spoke to you in your prosperity, But you said, 'I will not hear.' This has been your manner from your youth, That you did not obey My voice."

When people forget God, God will forget them. Notice this frightful warning in Hosea 4:6: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children."

Notice that this warning to Godís priests is also a warning to Godís people. The warning says: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge". Why? "Because they have rejected knowledge". What kind of knowledge? The knowledge that God is talking about is knowledge about Him, His truth and His law.

Be Grateful for Godís Law!

We in America have been blessed abundantly. Deuteronomy 28 is the blessings and cursings chapter. As you read the following passage, think about the abundant blessings that we have in the United States.

""Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. {2} "And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God: {3} "Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. {4} "Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. {5} "Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. {6} "Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. {7} "The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. {8} "The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. {9} "The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways" (Deut. 28:1-9).

Did you notice that these blessings are conditional upon the people keeping Godís ten commandments and walking in His ways?

Now letís notice in the following passage as to what will happen if we donít obey God and keep His commandments: ""But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: {16} "Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. {17} "Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. {18} "Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. {19} "Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. {20} "The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me" (Deut. 28:15-20). These curses continue on to verse 68 at the end of the chapter. Take the time to read the entire chapter to get the full impact of both blessings and the curses.

We should thank God for His law, because if we keep His commandments we will reap Godís abundant blessings.

In Conclusion:

Our attitude on "gratitude" must be an attitude of thankfulness and appreciation for the multitudinous blessings that God has given us.

With the many blessings and the prosperity that God has bestowed upon us we must not forget God.

Letís keep Godís commandments and walk in His ways so God will continue to bless us. Remember to pray to God daily and say "Thank You!"