It is an integral part of life that we become people possessing a sense of true gratitude. It is my perspective that the most grateful people are the most blessed people. There are reasons that make that perspective accurate.
First, true gratitude is the result of being impressed with a Gift. A gift involves things given with no strings attached. If we are duly sensitive and reasonable, we understand that someone has made an effort to provide the gift, which should make an impression on the emotion.
My Dad was an insurance salesman most of his working career. He worked a debit that took him to many back-woods West Virginia residences. The people liked my Dad. They were often very gracious toward him. Many times, they wanted to give him things. Honestly, some of the things he brought home were not very good. But, Dad always received what they offered because he said he was impressed that they wanted to give him a gift.
Second, true gratitude is impressed with the Generosity. If someone want to give you something, receive it with thanksgiving. I have told before the story about the banana. Hamp Carpenter, who once lived near Buckeye, WV, liked it when I would stop by his little house for a visit. He always wanted to give me something as I would leave. One day, with absolutely nothing else to give, he gave me a very, very ripe banana. I do not like very, very ripe bananas. On my home, I rolled down the window of my car to get rid of it. But, before I tossed it, the Lord spoke to my heart that Hamp was trying to be generous toward me. So, I rolled the window back up, peeled the banana, and ate it on my way home.
With wisdom and reasonableness (because not all things may be good for human consumption!), be impressed with the gift and respect it because someone has a heart and a mindset to benefit you in some way. Their acts of giving are usually inspired in themselves by an innate sense of generosity. Being generous means that they are thinking of you or are concerned about you. Furthermore, generosity sometimes involves self-sacrifice. True gratitude extols the generosity of others.
Third, true gratitude is impressed with the Gesture. The gesture is found in the fact that the giving of a gift by someone to you is an emotional extension of themselves. They watch for your response. Sometimes it takes courage to give a gift. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to prepare to give a gift. So, be impressed and grateful with the gesture.
Fourth, true gratitude is impressed with the Giver. For me, this is where the kids come to mind. Over the years, I have kept every card or tidbit given to me by the kids. The reason for it is because I am impressed with their thoughtfulness. I am impressed with their own sense of thankfulness directed toward me. But, it does not matter whether the givers are kids, teens, adults, or elderly, find reasons to be impressed for what they do.
Thus, the four G’s of true gratitude involved generosity, the gift, the gesture, and the giver.
However, these aspects of true gratitude bring us to consider being impressed with the gifts of God. The Scripture teaches us that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…”
Whenever we consider the salvation God has provided through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, we should have a sense of true gratitude involving the generosity, the gift, the gesture, and the Giver. Whenever, we consider the providence God directs our way, we should have a sense of true gratitude involving the generosity, the gift, the gesture, and the Giver.
The Scripture exhorts us, “In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Do not be like the one who told me recently that they have nothing for which to be thankful. God fills our lives with good things for that to be valid for anyone.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.