I've been wishing for a Thanksgiving related challenge to participate in with my blog, but couldn't think of what exactly. Then yesterday evening I saw that Chantel is hosting the GreaThings challenge on her blog. Although I'm starting a bit late, this is just what I've wanted so I'm going to hop on anyway! :-)
The first portion of the challenge is to define what gratitude is. I've been thinking about that all morning, and I realized that before I can define gratitude I have another couple words to define. Bear with me, it'll tie in.
Reality: There is a God who created me (Col 1:16, Ps 139:13), loves me (Rom 8:38-39), and sent his son to die in my place.
Fantasy: There is no God, and certainly not one involved in my life.
Reality: God will always meet my genuine needs (Phil 4:19)
Fantasy: There are some things that God can't (or won't) meet.
Reality: God will always forgive my sin (1 John 1:9)
Fantasy: There are some things even God can't forgive
Reality: God is always up to something good in my life (Rom 8:26-34)
Fantasy: There are some things that I've got to handle on my own
Reality: God is always in control of all things (Isa 46:9-10)
Fantasy: There are some things that are beyond God
Having defined those words, here is my definition of Gratitude:
Gratitude is the attitude that remains when I have rejected all my false beliefs about the world (fantasies) and accepted reality.
Gratitude is the most appropriate language to speak to God, and the posture of thankfulness is the most beautiful one for a Christ-follower to choose. (Ps 95:2)
Gratitude is a choice I must make moment-by-moment, and it can be a very difficult choice to make (Psalm 107:22), but it is the only RIGHT choice. There is never a time when it is appropriate to NOT thank God.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Phil 4:6