THE CHARACTER OF GRATITUDE

HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

Gratitude is an attitude of being thankful, even when we do not see what we have. This is an aspect of worship, expressing to God, and others, how they have benefited our lives by showing them support, appreciation, and benevolence. Because His blood has redeemed us, we are grateful (Luke 17:11-19; 1 Corinthians 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Ingratitude and Disapproval are the opposites. This means the refusal to acknowledge and respond to what Christ has done for us. This can be a Christian who does little to nothing with their faith and remains in the ways of the world or just refusing to grow and respond to God. This places a barrier to seeing the great, incompressible gift of grace we have received, and then refusing, or forgetting, to respond to our Lord.

We have been saved by Grace. No work is required from us, so, nothing is needed by us to earn our place in eternity. We have no obligation to respond; however, when we do become Christians by faith alone, a natural response will take place, as depicted in the “Fruits of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23), that show our faith to be real and impacting. The main thrust for our fruits and character development is the ability to see what we have in Christ, so we show ourselves thankful. This thankfulness is what motivates us to follow His teachings and precepts for all aspects of our lives, and for them to spill out on those around us.

Although gratitude can mean thankfulness, or to respond to favour we have received, it is a much deeper response where our hearts are filled with gratitude for the many blessings that God gives, even when they seem small to our wants, or even though we may not be able to see them. David was a man after God’s own heart, and his heart was full of praise to God, even in times of dire stress. He knew what God has done for him. He was the least in his family, and his family the least in his tribe, yet he was chosen to be king. It was something he did not earn or deserve, and even when he sinned, he saw God’s Grace restore him (Psalm 34:1; 107:15).

As a Christian and member of the Brotherhood, we must strive to be more thankful to Him and do our utmost to live up to the call given to us in Hebrews 13:15, “By Him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” We need to have the mindset that we are merely sojourners here on this earth, that is we are just passing through, preparing ourselves for our true home in heaven. The result will be a life filled with praise to God, as we will see Him, and not just our circumstances. Perhaps we will then be able to appreciate His goodness to us and have even more praise to and for His Name. This praise will overflow to others instead of the rotten fruits of Galatians 5: 19-21! Let our worship be true because of what He has done for us! Let us give our loud expression to Him! Praise God forever and ever (Psalm 150)!

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