“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph 5:20)
The Oxford Dictionary defines gratitude, "to show that a kindness received is valued." Genuine gratitude requires that we get past “the obligation.” From somewhere in the past I have notes that reference three levels of thankfulness.
The first level is the “say-thank-you-to-be-polite,” elementary school level of thankfulness. "You helped me and I said thank you. My obligation has been met; I recognize your involvement." Yes, you’ve done your duty…but not much more.
"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." Hebrews 13:15
HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION
The next level is High school thankfulness. It is being thankful “in” every situation. It is self-control and patience in the midst of daily routine and great tribulation, resting in the sovereignty of God.
"In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Graduate school thankfulness, however, is the highest level of thankfulness and should be the goal of every believer. It is not just being thankful “in” all things but being thankful “for” them There is a big difference, by the way. Are you thankful for your recent bad news? Are you thankful for your latest trial?
"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is...Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" Ephesians 5:17,20
Why do we so often make the choice to ignore our many blessings and live instead for what we still want? Why do we naturally default to complaining? Why are we so quick to minimize the blessings and magnify the negative?
Why don’t you determine to earn your master's degree in thankfulness today?