What does it mean to be grateful? Two of the definitions provided by Merriam-Webster are, to be appreciative of benefits received and express gratitude. If these definitions are correct, (and who am I to challenge this source?), it appears that to be grateful requires at least three things: the first is the recognition that I am the recipient of benefits; the second is that I appreciate the benefits; and, the third, is that I express gratitude.
The psalmist-king David, who existed long before the creators of the Merriam-Webster dictionary drew breath, clearly understood these truths about being grateful. In Psalm 103:1-2, he exults,
“Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:”
He then goes on to list the benefits he has received from God (as we have)//
“Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:4-5, NKJV).
And what he mentions is clearly not an exhaustive list. In Psalm 68:19-20 (NKJV), he declares,
“Blessed be the Lord,
Who daily loads us with benefits,
The God of our salvation! Selah
Our God is the God of salvation;
And to God the Lord belong escapes from death.”
So I ask myself, “Am I grateful?” “Do I really recognize that I am the recipient of daily benefits from God, or is there some part of me that believes that I have earned what I have?” “Do I appreciate the benefits God has given or am I ungrateful for what I have based on my belief that I do not have all that I think I need, want or deserve?” “Do I consistently express gratitude to God or do I complain and grumble more that I give thanks?”
What about you?
I am joining (on a Sunday) the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Grateful.” The content after the // was added after the allotted five minutes expired.