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Being Gracious To Each Other Is The Hallmark Of An Attitude Of Gratitude
It is Thanksgiving time and it is a good time to talk about our attitude towards thanking God and being appreciative of His Love and grace towards us. Our general attitude towards showing gratitude to God can also be deciphered from the way we treat each other. People can have what could be called a general attitude of gratitude. People who do not know how to thank God for one another or show gratitude to each other will also not know how to thank God. Gratitude is an attitude. While we were growing up, some of the first words we were thought as little kids were “thank you”. And more than saying thank you to each other, is also recognizing the God that is in each of us. So, you find that those who excel in expressing gratitude to God do it in several ways that recognize the God in each of us – several ways that are borne out of their general attitude towards gratitude.
Our attitude of Gratitude can be expressed in our praise of God and thankfulness to Him directly. In Ephesians 5:15, the Apostle Paul exhorted us to be careful how we live. He then went on in the same chapter, verses 19-20, to outline how to live carefully, and these include “Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
An attitude of Gratitude can also be expressed to God in the way we express thankfulness for one another. Apostle Paul again in his letter to the Philippians 1:3-6 says: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” We must always remember that we are created in the image of God and this God also lives in us. When we thank God for one another we are essentially thanking God for His creation. This same point was reiterated in Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1:3-4, when he says, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people. When you thank God for each other you are essentially displaying an attitude of gratitude.
Our attitude of Gratitude is also expressed in our thankfulness to one another. Showing gratitude to each other means we understand the good that comes from each other towards us through the God that works in us. As Apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 3:9, we cannot thank God enough for each other for all the joy we have because of each other. So, let us express gratitude to each other because as we do so, we are invariably also expressing gratitude to God and it shows that indeed we have developed an attitude of gratitude.
So as we get down to it in this Thanksgiving season, let us all begin to receive grace to show gratitude. Let us begin to think of the many people we must thank for hearing the word of God and bringing His grace into our lives. My brothers and sisters, it is so easy to take people for granted, or even to complain and become angry because they do not meet our every wish. But we need to give thanks for those around us, despite of the little inconveniences we may have experienced. The Christians in Corinth were far from perfect, but Paul began his first letter to them by saying, “I always thank God for you” (1 Corinthians 1:4, NIV).
Let us give thanks for our spouses, our children, our relatives, our friends and others who have helped and continue to help us in every little way. Thank God for those who touch your life. In fact, just thank God for those who are in your life. They are there for a reason. When you cultivate a habit of thanking people who you see, it makes it easier for you to thank God that you do not see. You are a blessing to me. I am a blessing to you. Let us thank God for each other. Let us also show gratitude to each other. When we do this, we not only show our thankfulness to God we also exhibit a Spirit of thankfulness that is needed to thank God always! – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya