Skip to main content

No Greater Attitude Like Gratitude

"The best giving is thanksgiving" – G.K. Chesterton

Last week, my youngest son, Joe (now 4 years), spoke an unacceptable word to my eldest son, Joy (now 6 years). When I came to know what Joe spoke, I became upset. I was going out and told Joy to come along with me. Now, Joe always loves to go out with me, but as an act of discipline, I did not take him. So he went to his mom to have her tell me to take him but she did not yield to his nagging.

As I was about to start my bike, my eldest son, Joy, sitting at my back, asked, "Papa, shall we take Joe along with us?" I told him, "No! He spoke to you using an unacceptable word." Then Joy said, "It’s okay, Papa. Forgive him." He got down from the bike, ran up to my house and brought Joe down.

When Joe came, I didn’t speak to him. Deliberating ignoring his presence, as I was about to start the bike, Joy said again, "Papa, let's take Joe. Forgive him." I said, "He didn’t repent of his mistake. I will forgive him but he has to feel sorry for what he did." Joy spoke to Joe to ask for an apology. And Joe, with all unhappiness on his face, looked unto me and said, "I am sorry."

When it comes to ask an apology, I make sure that my children apologize specifically, for I want them to clearly know what they violated. Joe said again, "I am sorry. I will not use that word again." Forgiving him, we all went out. As I was on the way, Joy nudged me and said, "Papa, you know, Joe did not thank me for what I did to him."

Expressing Gratitude
I know Joy did not help Joe for the sake of receiving thanks, but shouldn't we express gratitude to those who have been a blessing to us? Although people may do good to us without an intention to gain our gratitude, will not ingratitude hurt them when we do not have a grateful heart? And how wicked is such attitude when we think ill and speak evil of those who have helped us! And how quickly we forget all the good people did unto us when we are just hurt by them!

When I think about all the hurt certain people left on my heart, one most offensive thing I had to confront is ungratefulness from them. And I suppose it hurts others too when I don’t express my gratitude to them. Elie Wiesel said it right, "When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude."

Gratitude – Towards God and People
I have learned this most important lesson – we need to express our gratitude, both to God and to people. John, an apostle of Christ, wrote, “For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 Jn. 4:20). In light of this Scripture, I suppose, anyone who is not grateful to his brother, whom he has seen, cannot be grateful to God, whom he has not seen!

Well, it is important to note here that living a life of gratitude is not just offering the word 'thanks'; it goes beyond words. In view of God's mercy, it is upholding the people (who helped us) in our hearts with great respect and being a blessing to them when necessary. Said John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States – "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." How few live a life of such gratefulness!

I always believed and often say, "There is no greater attitude like gratitude." I agree with Marcus Cicero, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others."

Obstacle to Gratitude
There is one great hindrance to gratitude and it is pride. An arrogant person cannot live a life of gratitude, for to him it is like lowering himself before others. Someone said it true, "Ingratitude produces pride while gratitude produces humility." And Henry Ward Beecher rightly pointed out, "Pride slays thanksgiving, but an humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man."

One risk generous people have to face in helping others is ingratitude from those who received help. In spite of such ungrateful people, the good news from God’s word is this: "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped His people and continue to help them" (Heb. 6:10).

By the way, Joe at last thanked Joy for kindly helping him.

"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer , German Lutheran pastor, theologian



Feel free to write your comments below (or) write to

E-mail: (or)


Popular posts from this blog

Can Married Couples Watch Pornography Together? [Part 1]

1 of 3
One day my wife and I happened to visit a married couple. As I was discussing about marital issues with them, the woman candidly asked me a question—“Is it okay for my husband and me to watch pornography together? Someone known to me suggested it is sexually healthy for a couple to watch porn together.”

There are many misleading voices these days, saying—“Watching porn together is one of the best ways a couple can connect.” “Watching porn together strengthens your sexual relationship.” “Watching porn together adds fuel into your dry marriage.” I have even found an article entitled, “Couples who watch porn together stay together.”

According to a debate on Times of on whether couples are okay with watching porn together, 53 pct felt that it was perfectly natural, while 43 pct held it to be morally degrading. If this is the perspective in a more conservative and traditional nation like India, which is now becoming more liberal in moral issues, I can imagine the vot…

Three Tragic Signs of Complacency

"Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth," said A.W. Tozer.
These days I have been meditating on the book of Amos. What wealth of insights the Lord has in store for His children to learn about His ways! When I came to chapter 6, I was moved in my heart to self-examination, for it reveals three tragic signs of complacency.
One of the terrible diseases of Christianity today is complacency [a feeling of self-satisfaction]. A.W. Tozer says, "Religious complacency is encountered almost everywhere among Christians these days." He also observed, "Among the many who profess the Christian faith, scarcely one in a thousand reveals any passionate thirst for God." I cannot resist agreeing with Tozer. If the world is shattered because of its callousness towards the truth, Christianity is miserable due to its complacency in the truth it has believed.
Let us reflect upon the following brief message with a prayerful heart and allow God to redeem us from this ev…

Unholy Matrimony - Dowry, An Evil Practice

Most of us pay lip service to condemn dowry as a contemporary social evil, however, this ancient Indian custom continues to destroy families in our present age as well. Before bringing up this issue to the whole world, I believe that this must first be addressed to the professed people of God who are called to be the light of the world (Matt. 5:14). It is for Christians to confront this issue and explore fully to know whether dowry is acceptable or despicable. Let us reason, examine and find out - Is demanding dowry a perverted practice? Do we have any biblical proofs in order to come to this conclusion? Is requiring dowry in marriage unbiblical, or to say further, an anti-biblical practice?

This message might be offensive and discomforting to many money-loving readers. However, the fact remains – truth is bitter but makes our lives better. Therefore, I encourage you to read this message with an open mind and a humble attitude.

What is Dowry?
Dowry is a kind of gift given by the bride’s …