Gratitude and Thanksgiving
How grateful are you?
While preparing for a sermon that I preached today, I found that in the NASB, there are 169 references in 162 verses to words that have “thank” in them: thank, thanked, thankful, thankfulness, thanks, or thanksgiving (see references below).
With that many references to words that have “thank” in them, it would stand to reason that this is something that God would like us to view as important. Notice too that none of them are negative.
So here are some suggestions for how you might begin to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving in your life.
First, write down your personal conversion experience. Why? It will remind you of when you realized that your were a sinner in need of salvation and your only hope was to place your faith in Jesus and take God at His word. This is vital and necessary because without this everything else is meaningless.
Use a composition book or some kind of notebook to record your thoughts and plans. If you don’t write down your thoughts and experiences, you will probably never really learn and grow from them.
I like composition books because you can get one at pretty much any store that sells school or office supplies for less than $5 and the pages are sewn in so you won’t loose them unless you tear them out. Remember, the tools you use don’t have to be expensive or elaborate to be effective. They just have to be used!
Next, for the next 30 days, look up one of the references below and see what it says. Read the whole chapter, especially if there is more than one verse referenced for that chapter, to understand the context. Then summarize what the chapter is about and any thoughts or questions you might have on the subject. Meditate, or chew on, the ideas expressed and how they might be incorporated into your life.
It’s probably better to focus on the New Testament references or the ones in Psalms as some of the Old Testament references will be about offering animal sacrifices, which Christians are no longer required to do. We can still learn from them but not actually have to offer the animal sacrifice.
As Paul wrote in Romans 12:1-2, our lives are to be living sacrifices to God’s glory. So as you read, look for examples of things you can do to express your gratitude to God for the many blessings we have from Him and to others for how they have blessed us.
Finally, look for opportunities to practice both intentional and impromptu, random acts of gratitude each day and record your experiences. This will help you become more aware of how your understanding of thankfulness is growing and how your gratitude quotient is increasing.
At the very bottom of the page, you will find a link to a 3×5 card (like the graphic above) that you can print out and use as a bookmark or reminder to do something each day for the next 30 days to express your gratitude more.
NASB References to words with thank in them
Leviticus 7:12,13,15; 22:29; 2 Samuel 22:50; 1 Chronicles 16:4,7,8,34,35,41; 23:30; 25:3; 29:13; 2 Chronicles 20:21; 29:31; 30:22; 31:2; 33:16; Ezra 3:11; Nehemiah 11:17; 12:8,24,27,46; Job 31:20; Psalms 6:5; 7:17; 9:1; 18:49; 26:7; 28:7; 30:4,12; 33:2; 35:18; 42:4; 44:8; 45:17; 50:14,23; 52:9; 54:6; 56:12; 57:9; 69:30; 75:1; 79:13; 86:12; 92:1; 95:2; 97:12; 100:1,4; 105:1; 106:1,47; 107:1,8,15,21,22,31; 108:3; 109:30; 111:1; 116:17; 118:1,19,21,28,29; 119:7,62; 122:4; 136:1,2,3,26; 138:1,2,4; 139:14; 140:13; 142:7; 145:10; 147:7; Isaiah 12:1,4; 25:1; 38:18,19; 51:3; Jeremiah 17:26; 30:19; 33:11; Daniel 2:23; 6:10; Amos 4:5; Jonah 2:9;
Matthew 15:36; 26:27; Mark 8:6; 14:23; Luke 2:38; 17:9,16; 18:11; 22:17,19; John 6:11,23; 11:41; Acts 24:3; 27:35; 28:15; Romans 1:8,21; 6:17; 7:25; 14:6; 16:4; 1 Corinthians 1:4,14; 10:30; 11:24; 14:16,17,18; 15:57; 2 Corinthians 1:11; 2:14; 4:15; 8:16; 9:11,12,15; Ephesians 1:16; 5:4,20; Philippians 1:3; 4:6; Colossians 1:3,12; 3:15,16,17; 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2:13; 3:9; 5:18; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 2:13; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2:1; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 1:4; Hebrews 13:15; Revelation 4:9; 7:12; 11:17.
I have embedded this Gratitude Quiz from the Greater Good Science Center. This isn’t a Christian organization as far as I know but I found the questions in the survey thought provoking.
The quiz is a self evaluation survey that you can fill out to see how grateful you think you are. When you submit your answers to see the result, it will present your score and explain how to understand what it means. It will also describe some other activities that you might consider doing to increase your gratitude no matter what your score is calculated to be. Remember, the more accurate you are in your responses, your “score” will better reflect your true gratitude awareness at this time.
Note: You don’t have to create an account to fill out the survey and find out the results. To the best of my knowledge, your responses are not saved unless you create an account. If your browser is set to save information you enter on forms, it will appear that your responses have been saved but they are only stored on your computer. If you want to change this setting prior to filling out the survey, here is a link to a page that will show you how to do this: How to enable or disable my Internet browser’s Autocomplete.