Monday, November 23, 2020

How to Show Gratitude to God

By Gerald Cowan

    There are four levels of gratitude that one may reach. The level of the lips – saying “thanks,” or some words that convey gratitude. But if the words are insincere they are not valid – they are lies. Lying words may sound good to the one addressed, but they are a discredit to the one who speaks them. The level of the hands – doing something to show gratitude, in response to something done for you or given to you. But if the action is forced or coerced and is not an honest reflection of feelings it too is a lie. The act is good but the motive behind it is not. The level of the heart – actually being grateful. When the gratitude is heartfelt it will show up in the lips and in the hands, sincere and genuine words and acts of appreciation which is the level of the life – one lives a life of gratitude.


    One: Guard your own mind and thoughts (Prov. 4:23).  Look for the good in everything, no matter what (Rom. 8:28).  Bar all suggestive, lustful, and immoral things from your mind.  Fill your mind with positive things (Phil. 4:8).  Do not surrender to negative emotions.  Avoid all selfishness.
    Two:  Be other-person-centered (Phil. 2:4, Mt. 7:12).  Acknowledge and respond to the good in others.  Do good: return good for good, but also return good for evil (Rom. 12:21).  Allow others to give to you and do things for you. Acts 20:35 does not mean one should not receive. Others cannot have the blessing of giving if there is no receiver. Giving and receiving build up the church and its individual members (Phil. 4:15-16).
    Three: Practice positive praise and prayer. God is worthy of our praise. Praise Him. Prayers of petition and intercession should be offered in faith, believing in God who is able to help and able to give – and willing to do so when asked (1 Tim. 2:1, James 1:6).  Just remember that prayer is incomplete and may not bring the desired or requested result if it does not include thanks-giving (Phil. 4:6-7, Eph. 5:20).
    Four: Focus on what you have and not what you don’t have, on what you have received from others and not just what you have done for yourself. If you are inclined to compare your blessedness with that of others, here are a few points to help you move in the right direction. If you have nutritious food and safe drinking water, you are better off than about two thirds of all the people in the world. If you have adequate clothing, a house to live in, and easy transportation about half of the world will envy you. If you have, or have had, parents who love you and love each other – what a blessed treasure that is! Even if you don’t get what you want or what you ask for, you can probably be grateful you don’t get some things you deserve, “what you’ve got coming to you.”  If your soul has been saved by obedience to Christ, you have something only about one in 7,000 can claim with any reasonable assurance.  All the other things you may be thankful for are as nothing if you are not among those saved by Christ.
- Gerald Cowan, a longtime preacher and missionary, is retired from full-time pulpit preaching. Gerald publishes an e-mail newsletter entitled GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICAL WRITINGS. He is available for Gospel Meetings and he may be contacted at

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