Having gratitude for each other is how God wants us to live. When we are grateful for one another we are able to have the same attitude as Christ had for us. He loved us with grace and mercy for our imperfections. It is not always easy to love one another; however, practicing gratitude for each other gives us a perspective of appreciation. Appreciating one another is where love can start. It can certainly root out the feelings of ill will and discontentment we often have with each other. Cultivating gratitude in our lives is one of the best ways to allow God to grow our maturity for the work He has planned for us.
Romans 15:5 NIV
In order to build a foundation of gratitude for each other we must lead with truth in all we do. Living in truth allows us to honor ourselves and thus those around us. We are all connected to each other. When we lie to one another we are lying to ourselves. Thus, in doing right and good by others we are doing right and good by ourselves. Giving thanks for each other helps us to humble ourselves to recognize that we do not know the journeys we each face. Accepting this fact can grow our understanding that we each face trials and hardships, turning us away from condemnation and ridicule of one another. We are in this together. The more we encourage each other the better we can function as a whole.
Ephesians 4:25 NIV
A Story of Gratitude for Others:
It is hard to appreciate those that are not kind to us or that are against us. It is a natural human emotion to have anger and want to seek revenge. However, the feeling of anger and the reality of revenge is never as fulfilling as we might think. I have learned this over time. Having gratitude for those that hurt me has been the hardest task that God has been working on my heart about.
My family and I moved to a new neighborhood last year. Our neighbors were kind at first, but there were many things our families did not see eye to eye on. Thus, this discontent for each other grew with each passing encounter. Eventually the discontment came to a head and everything unraveled. It has been almost a year since we last spoke on friendly terms.
It is an unfortunate reality for all of us. However, I have been determined to not allow my heart to harden towards my neighbors. Although I don’t believe I will ever understand them, I will be grateful for how this situation has taught me to let go. I am grateful that this experience has shown me that we don’t have to be friends with everyone. I appreciate that they have shown me I can still have love in my heart for those that have hurt me. I have grown because of this difficult situation.
Strengthen the Christian Planner Family by sharing your experiences. We'd love to hear a story about God's work in your life. Use the form linked below to submit your story.
Considerations for your planner:
- How do you have gratitude for others? Write down what you can appreciate about someone you have content for.
- Write down what truth means to you. Do you practice this with the people in your life?