Four traits of gratitude

In Chapter 2 of Ruthless Trust, author Brennan Mannng discusses 4 characteristics of a life lived in gratitude:

1.  Gratitude is inclusive.  Henri Nouwen encourages us in his book Bread for the Journey:  “Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see the guiding hand of a loving God.”

2.  Gratitude is attentive.  If our focus is inward, we can’t be attentive to the daily manifestation of God’s gifts.  Brennan Manning notes that prayer is the key to such attentiveness: “To be aware and alert to the (manifested) presence of God . . . requires an inner freedom from self acquired through prayer.”

3.  Gratitude is contagious.  Simply stated, it’s delighful to be around grateful people and catch their spirit.  The author cites Brother David Steindl-Rast in his book Gratefulness: The Heart of Prayer:  The root of joy is gratefulness . . . . It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

4.  Gratitude is theocentric.  Alternatively and wryly stated, G. K. Chesterton once quipped that an athiest’s worst moment is feeling grateful and having no one to thank.  Brennan Manning restates this concept from a Christian perspective: “The theocentric character of gratitude is anchored in trust that there is Someone to thank.”


About the author

Dave Henning

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