Always assume an attitude of gratitude

The writer has been associated with the Churches of God since 1974. He attends a COG group in the Minneapolis area. He is a 1985 graduate of the University of Minnesota. He lives with his wife, Julie, and two daughters in Eagan.

By Luke Przeslawski

EAGAN, Minn.--Next to "I love you," "thank you" is among the sweetest sentiments we hear. The Bible has much to say about being thankful, including how to develop and maintain an attitude of gratitude toward God, our family members and others.

As you read through the Psalms, one of the things that strikes you is how King David went out of his way to praise and thank Father God for the many good things He does.

For example, Psalm 100:4-5: "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. For the Lord God is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures throughout all generations."

In spite of King David's faults, he was a thankful man.

Have a positive effect

On the other hand, God foretold through the apostle Paul that at the end of this age, before Jesus returns, a spirit of selfishness and ingratitude would prevail. In 2 Timothy 3:1-2 we read: "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy . . ."

I don't dogmatically say we are currently at the end of the age, but we definitely live in an increasingly selfish and unthankful society. The decline of civility over the last 30 years is astounding.

Although we cannot change the world, we can change our conduct and have a positive effect on our family, friends and acquaintances.

Here's how.

Give thanks to God

  • Thank God for the many blessings and other good things in our lives. God is our Creator and Father. As any good parent knows, you experience a great joy and blessing when your children are thankful for the things you do for them. God is no different.

Psalm 95:2 tells us: "Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving." Your thankfulness should begin with God. Without Him you would not even exist.

Be grateful to Jesus

  • Be thankful to Jesus for laying down His life for you. If it were not for Jesus' tremendous sacrifice, we could not be redeemed to Father God.

In Revelation 5:8-9 we read: "Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood . . .'"

Jesus told us that no greater love can exist than laying down your life for others (John 15:13). Jesus laid down His life for us. We need to thank Jesus for being our Savior.

Thank your family

  • Be thankful to your family members. Sadly, we are often the hardest on those who are the closest to us. We must strive to be thankful to our family members. Spouses should be thankful for what the other spouse does and avoid taking him or her for granted.

Not only should children be thankful to their parents, but parents should be thankful to their children when they do good things. Not only is this right, it sets a good example for the children and lays a foundation of mutual respect.

Paul wrote: "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32).

Many of us don't take the time to realize that thankfulness is an act of kindness.

Don't give partial thanks

  • Be thankful to anyone who does something nice for you. Don't limit yourself to being thankful only to certain people. God says we are not to show partiality (James 2:1, 9).

If someone at work does something nice, thank him. If a neighbor does something nice, thank him. If anyone does anything nice, thank him.

If we are thankful, we please God and we encourage others to develop an attitude of gratitude.

The Journal: News of the Churches of God is available from P.O. Box 1020, Big Sandy, Texas 75755, U.S.A., and For more information write . To comment on this article or any other article or feature in The Journal or Connections, write . The preceding article or feature is from The Journal, February 25, 2002.

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