Wednesday’s Word of the Day: Gratitude

23 11 2011

Today’s word is gratitude.  The definition is a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation.  In America, this season is where we recount all the things we are thankful for.  While many of us enjoy the holiday season and have many things to be thankful for, many around us suffer at this time of year.  Some hurt because of loss, of a loved one, a failed marriage, or a friendship.  Others have financial difficulties which preclude the normal celebratory feasts and gifts that many of us enjoy.  Interestingly, there is a third group of people, but I will discuss them momentarily.

 

The word shares the Latin root gratus, which means pleasing or agreeable with grace.  Tude comes from  the Latin tūdō which means a state or condition.  Therefore the word literally means a pleasing, agreeable state.  And really when someone is thankful, don’t we find them agreeable and find ourselves wanting to be around them.

This brings me back to the third group of people who I mentioned earlier.  These people are ungrateful despite the abundance, a veritable cornucopia, of blessings.  They have every family member living, a wonderful marriage, great kids, and every kind of material possession.  Yet at times, they can be the most ungrateful people.

When I was a kid, I had very few possessions.  My mom was raising me by herself, and sometimes she couldn’t afford to get me the basic necessities, much less, extras like toys or anything like that.  One night, I went with my mom to see a friend who had a daughter with every kind of toy, game, etc.  Literally, if you could name it, she probably had it.  However, whenever we started playing with something, she quickly got bored with it.  At one point, she even said that she didn’t have ANYTHING to play with.  I learned then that having things would not make you happy (or grateful).

Well, I should say that I wished I  that I learned that lesson then.  I spent many years chasing things that I thought would make me happy.  I got a job.  I bought everything that I wanted.  And I still wanted more.   I talked before about synonyms for a more detailed list of the other things I chased.

I believe that the cure for this endless chase is gratitude.   In Philippians 4:6, Paul tells the believer in Philippi to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  In verse 7, he states that the peace of God will guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Therefore, thankfulness leads to Holy protection when we give everything to God.

I could write a list of hundreds of people who I am thankful for, but I will keep it short. I will begin this list with Jesus.  This year has been hard for me, primarily because of my own choices, and Jesus met me exactly where I was with grace, unconditional love, and acceptance.  The next person on this list is my beautiful wife.  She has been the greatest blessing in my life this side of eternity.  The kindness, gentleness, and graciousness she displays on a regular basis to me and all those who meet and know her warms their hearts and mine.  Finally, I would like to give thanks for my two boys, Bryan and Gabriel.  Bryan is my little spark plug who is so full of energy and humor.  And Gabriel is a sweetheart who just loves and loves and loves.

In reality, relationships are the best things to have and to be thankful for.  Who in your life has blessed you? Take some time this season and let them know.

P.S. This blog would have been about 10k words long if I thanked everyone who means a lot to me, so this is a shout-out to the rest.  Mom, Mark, Rebecca, Naomi, Lydia, Edie-mom, Mark S., Granddaddy and Grandmommy, Kelly and Laura Baker, Brenda and Tony, Carol and Andy, Larry and Pam, Stacy and Johnny, Thomas, Alex, Jeff, the Ryan Shahan Clan, The David Edler Family, The Grandfolks of Franklin, Martha, Stephen, Rachel, David, Kent Lester, Stephen C., Stephen B., Steve B, The Steve Hurtle Family, The Bob Weber Family, The Emory Cheek family, Jerod O., the Sean Buchanan Family, Eddie N., Gary S., Roy H., Jim H., Zach D., Thom G., the Bob Bedwell, Allen and Flossy Talley, The Chad Sapp Family, David Booker, Dan Shelby, and the Zach Miller Family. 

 

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One response

23 11 2011
Jennifer Poppy

That’s sweet honey…i’m grateful for YOU!

Love,
Jen

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