The Importance of Gratitude

Written by Allie Sampson
Photography by Sydnee Mela

 

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” Psalm 100:4, ESV

Can you recall an instance when you gave someone a gift and you were met by a sincere thank you?  Maybe it was an extravagant Christmas gift you gave to your kids that left them squealing and releasing thank you’s through peals of laughter.  Perhaps it was a surprise you had been waiting to bless your friend with and you caught their thanks in the midst of misty eyes and a heartfelt smile.  How did this moment make you feel?  How did their thanks mark your heart?  Isn’t it amazing how simple gratitude can leave you feeling so gratified?  Nothing completes a gift given like a thankful receiver.  Gratitude acknowledges the giver’s thoughtfulness, intentionality and sacrifice.  It communicates that their time, effort, generosity and love are valuable. 

Gratitude is an easy step to skip.  In the hurry of life or the emotion of a holiday, saying thank you often slips through the cracks.  Sometimes we become so fascinated by a gift that we forget to pause to acknowledge the one who gave it to us.  This may seem like a simple oversight, but saying thank you makes all the difference—it pulls us out of the culture of entitlement and aligns our hearts with the Father.  In Luke 17, saying thank you is what gave the Samaritan leper a full healing.  While the other nine were set free from their physical ailment, they missed out on the total healing: the healing of the heart.  But the Samaritan’s gratitude sparked his faith, and his faith made him well.

We believe that thankfulness is essential to a life lived with the Holy Spirit.  When we say thank you, it not only acknowledges what the Father is doing in our lives, but seals it on our hearts.  Thankfulness locks us into remembrance and feeds our faith—it sets us up to remember that He is a good Father that comes through for us.  As a community, we have made it a point to exercise thanksgiving in our daily lives.  By consistently thanking the Lord, we are calling our hearts to attention and reminding ourselves of His constant presence and goodness.  This simple rhythm has changed how we see and ultimately shifted how we approach the Father.  This is the cultivation of a life of entering into His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts. 

This week, we encourage you to ask the Father to highlight someone that has made an impact on your life and to flood your heart with thanksgiving.  Let your gratitude fan the flame of faith in your heart.  Then ask the Father for an idea of how you can communicate your gratitude.  Maybe it’s as simple as carving out time to call them on the phone.  Perhaps He’s inviting you to write a card of encouragement.  Or maybe He’s inviting you to go all out with a thoughtful gift or beautiful meal!  Make space for the Holy Spirit to inspire your heart with thankfulness and engage in the fruit of following through with the Father.