With gratitude or for granted?

By Dave Henning / July 26, 2023

“Are you taking things for granted?  Or are you taking things with gratitude?. . .  What if we approached each day as an encore?  That’s what it is, isn’t it?  It never has been before and never will be again.  Gratitude is living each day like it’s the first day and last day of your life.”- Mark Batterson

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.”- Matthew 6:28 (ESV)

In his Preface to Part 3 (“The Theology of Thanks”) of Please Thanks Sorry, Mark Batterson notes that research shows the word grateful is more effective at conveying gratitude than the word thankful.  Because, as one therapist states, being thankful is a feeling.  But being grateful is an action.  Hence, the theology of thanks begins with gratitude.

Therefore, Pastor Batterson stresses, gratitude is:

  • the engine room.
  • giving credit where credit is due.
  • a fundamental recognition that every good and perfect gift comes from God.

Consequently, Mark cites Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), theologian and former prime minister of the Netherlands. Kuyper once said:

“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign, does not cry, ‘Mine!’ ”

However, we must, with intentionality, take things with gratitude.  For example, each day the French poet Jacques Reda (1929 -) walked the streets of Paris, intent on seeing something new.  As a result, without that level of intent we become blind to the blessings around us.  So, the technical term for failing to see what’s right in front of us = inattentional blindness.

In conclusion, in her poem Aurora Leigh, Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote:

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, / And every common bush afire with God: / But only he who sees, takes off his shoes. / The rest sit around it, and pluck blackberries.”

Therefore, Pastor Batterson queries, are you taking off your shoes?  Or are you content to simply sit around and pick blackberries?

Today’s question: Do you mostly find yourself taking things with gratitude or for granted?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Partial miracles – praise God”

About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button