The Outcome of Gratitude is Obedience and Humility
Having gratitude for others is the action of being obedient to God. It shows our ability to be humble and not driven by selfish tendencies. This is the example of Christ. He was able to have gratitude for everything, as He did not think Himself above anyone. Giving thanks to God for all that He provides us must be the foundation of our lives. It is only through thanksgiving that we can sustain obedience and humility. These 2 things are integral in our journey with God. Without obedience and humility we are not able to receive the things He wants for us. However, it all starts with gratitude. The heart of someone that is grateful stays malleable to the ways of the Lord. Then we do not become consumed by the world. Rather we are set apart and used for His work.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:5-8 NIV
It is not always easy to bless others. Oftentimes, the people that come into our lives can frustrate, annoy and anger us. However, we are called to bless everyone, including our enemies. This task can only be accomplished through gratitude for others. With the lens of thankfulness we can see beyond what frustrates, annoys or angers us in others, because then we are able to see them as another child of God. Thanksgiving is the great equalizer. It draws out our humanity and humbles us. It teaches us that we are all subject to the human condition and we are each doing the best we can. We must come alongside one other to share in the journey and learn together. When we do this we are able to laugh together and cry together. God is pleased to see us in unity rather than at odds.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Romans 12:14-16 NIV
A Story of Gratitude for Others:
It is so hard to get along with everyone I meet, let alone like them. I want to see everyone as another child of God, but sometimes I just want to be angry. I do not want to be nice or kind to those that are not nice or kind to me. However, that is not the way of God. It takes a great deal of humility to be kind when others aren’t.
I have found that when I can see something I am grateful for in someone else it makes it easier to interface with them. I want to obey God and in order to do so I know I must rid myself of pride and ego. This is one of the hardest things to do. It is a daily effort. I try to see every interaction I have as an opportunity to practice humility.
Looking at life's happenings as an opportunity has changed everything for me. I no longer see life happening to me. I see life happening for me. I am grateful everyday to be alive. I want to share this gratitude with everyone. I can only do that by leading with this example in my life. It behooves me to be kind when others aren’t. Through my obedience life becomes lighter and my effort doesn’t seem too difficult anymore.
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 has your ego gotten the better of you? Write down how you can use gratitude to overcome your ego with others.
- Do you see those that oppose you as children of God? Write down something that you are grateful for in that person or people and if that can start to shift your perspective of them.