I seem to be doing quite a bit of reading on this topic recently. You may want to also see:
The author defines thankfulness, or gratitude this way:
“Gratitude is the divinely given spiritual ability to see grace, and the corresponding desire to affirm its’ giver as good.”
He not only defines gratitude, he lists the fruit of gratitude. For example:
- Giving thanks fosters the development of other good habits — it frees us from envy, jealousy, self-pity and malice
- Gratitude has a sanctifying effect on daily things like our marriage and our meals, by recognizing their holiness through prayer
- It gives the Spirit more room to work in our hearts since it keeps our attention on God and away from ourselves
- Focusing on blessings has emotional and interpersonal benefits–practicing gratitude has a positive correlation with happiness and optimism
- It leads to repentance
- Thankful words have a restorative and healing effect on others
He also mentions the dangers of ingratitude:
- It can ruin relationships
- Fosters many maladies from bitterness to suicide
- It gives us a mistaken sense of entitlement, pride and independence
- It leads to idolatry, impurity and dishonorable passions
Thankfulness is not simply a feeling, it requires action. It responds. When we give thanks, we encourage others, and this is an act of love. However, while giving thanks costs almost nothing, preparing to give thanks means we must be intentional by cultivating a grateful attitude, being attentive to notice our blessings, and taking time to express our thanks to God and those around us. It springs from humility and contrition of heart.
Of course, there are hindrances to thankfulness:
- Spiritual blindness
- Ingratitude is constantly modeled around us
- We become preoccupied with problems and forget to focus on our blessings
At the end, Crabtree answers various questions the reader may have about thankfulness, such as how do we express thanks during tragedy or suffering, what to do about problems at church or in marriage. Finally, he lists one hundred ways to be thankful.
VERDICT: 5 STARS. Inspiring, practical and helpful.
If you would like to purchase this book, follow the link below:
The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.
For more posts on giving thanks see: