“And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly . . . as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the Father through him.”- Colossians 3:15b-17
John Ortberg opens Chapter 15 (“The Soul Needs Gratitude”) of Soul Keeping by stating that because the fundamental mind-set of the life of the soul is gratitude, the soul thrives on it. However, as Pastor Ortberg notes, the truth is that all too often we can become so focused on ourselves that we don’t take time to be grateful- to God or to others.
Gratitude, John emphasizes, comes more from an awareness of God’s presence and his goodness than from acquiring more things or experiences. Gratitude involves three benes:
1. Benefit. Psalm 103:2-5 reminds us that God forgives, heals, redeems, and crowns us with love and compassion. The soul responds in gratitude to these benefits God gives us.
2. Benefactor. In order to be truly grateful, we must recognize that the benefits or gifts that come our way are not random acts or accidents. The good in our life comes from God.
3. Beneficiary. We are the beneficiaries of the benefits of God, who has our best interests at heart. We won’t have a grateful heart if we believe these gifts are deserved or take them for granted. The soul needs gratitude.
Today’s question: Following your vocation loss, in what area(s) have you been able to express gratitude to God? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Training for gratitude”