November is sneaking up on us, and while I’m watching October slip away, I am being reminded almost daily of our need for gratitude.  It’s funny how God’s word dovetails with the circumstances in which I find myself in my daily walk with Him.  I’m working my way through putting Colossians 3 to memory, at the same time, collecting Scriptures, memes, and images that fit my chosen theme for November on my facebook page.


Gratitude is different than being thankful, though they are related.  Gratitude is the deep down feeling that comes with being thankful.  In other words, thankfulness is a state of being (or even doing, if it’s verbal).  Gratitude is the quality or feeling that comes when we are in that state.

When my kids were younger, they would often complain that they didn’t “feel like” (fill in the blank with any number of instructions they were given to accomplish…)  My response in their training was to remind them that the “feeling” part is not necessary for obedience, but God often rewards our obedience with the “want to” after we have submitted to Him.  In other words, “though you may not “feel like” getting up and cleaning your room, (or honoring your mother), you must resolve to do it out of obedience nonetheless.”  Often, in the middle of their obedience, there came a sense of peace…even joy, or a feeling of satisfaction in doing so.  That’s what I’m talking about here.

We are instructed to be thankful.  Now, I may be the only one who still waits for the “feeling” before offering thanks, but I have to remember the words the Lord spoke through me to my children.  “Feeling” is not the command.  It’s the “doing”.  It’s a matter of willing myself to obey.

Do a search on Bible Gateway (or your favorite Bible program) for “give thanks”  Seems to me, a fairly even split between being instructed or commanded to “be thankful” and the obedient “I will” decision to be so.  That’s because being thankful is a matter of the will.   It is a choice.

Psalms is full of thanksgiving being tied to worship.  Praise, song, joyful noises, and blessing flow from the act of giving thanks.  It brings GLORY to God.

In Philippians, giving thanks is the antidote to worry.

In Colossians, it accompanies wisdom, enables us to teach and encourage on another, and keeps us alert and in our devotion to prayer.  I find it interesting that in the very chapter I’m memorizing right now, it is also tied to “WHATEVER I do…everything I say, everything I do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus….giving thanks to God the Father through Him.   (Psalm 95:2, Psalm 100:4, Philippians 4:6, Colossians 3:16,17, Colossians 4:2) 

Join me at New Things’ facebook page for a month of reminders and scriptures on gratitude and thanksgiving, starting November 1.

7 comments on “Gratitude

  1. good post – separating feelings from free-will – it’s a decision. We all need to recognize that loving, obedience etc happens when we will it [I’m speaking of Spiritual love not human love which is centered on how another makes you feel]

    • Yes, Charles…a study on the different Greek words for love is eye opening and very insightful when applied to the verses that speak of love. The English language falls short of words to describe the differences.

      Thanks for your kind words, blessings!

  2. If there ever was a book that expounded on love/faith/gratitute as an act of the will and not a response to feeling, it is Mother Teresa’s “Come Be My Light”.
    I enjoyed your post, easier to digest and put into practice than the mystical and holy life example of Mother Teresa.

    • Wow. That is a high compliment, Kat. I have never heard of this work of Mother Teresa’s…will definitely put it on my “to read” list. Thank you.


      • I hope so. I loved it, but it is difficult to get through, especially the first half. Do persevere, it is worth it!

        And keep up your own beautiful, contemplative work. I enjoy your blog.

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