I’ve been grousing lately. Ironically, some of it has been on the subject of cultural ingratitude. “We move from the ‘gimme’ of Halloween to the ‘gimme’ of Christmas, with Thanksgiving squashed to nothing in between,” I told Emily when we walked past the clearance Halloween candy at the entrance of Target and saw the Christmas decorations already up just beyond. It’s easy to comment on general ingratitude, but God keeps reminding me of the personal component. I’ve listened to Colossians 1 probably 10+ times in the past month, and verse 11b-12a, “May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father” (NLV) jumps out at me. (There’s a bigger context going on in those verses, but I think the link of joy with gratitude is still a valid interpretation.) Joy doesn’t always characterize my life nor the lives of many other Western believers. That’s not good in terms of quality of life nor of sharing our faith. Who wants a dour faith? a dour life? I don’t. So this morning I took a few minutes to see what other people have said about gratitude. I’m sharing some of the quotes I found.
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.
— Meister Eckhart (1260-1329)
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
— Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC-43 BC), Pro Plancio (54 BC)
Prayer is the fruit of joy and thankfulness.
— Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 AD), On Prayer: 153 Texts, 15
Thou has given so much to me… Give me one thing more— a grateful heart.
— George Herbert (1593-1633)
From David learn to give thanks for everything. Every furrow
in the book of Psalms is sown with the seeds of thanksgiving.
— Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667)
Thanksgiving is good but thanks-living is better.
— Matthew Henry (1662-1714)
“THANKS-LIVING is better!” That’s awesome!
I choose gratitude. I choose joy. (And I ask God for help with both of them!)