What is Gratitude?
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What is Gratitude?

Having gratitude in all things and thanking God for them will change your thought patterns from negative to positive. It will enhance your life by making it happier and healthier.

We all do things in love - for people. Whether it's loving, cooking, shopping, repairing, teaching, listening, sharing, or whatever you give of yourself for another's good; it's a gift. Parents spend many years raising children, instructing them in life's ways. Besides teaching them the rules of life, parents also share their love by supporting, encouraging, and nurturing. Although they are not seeking pats on the back for things they do, it is always joyful to parents when a child appreciates their efforts and shows gratitude and thanks them.

Wikipedia defines 'thanks': "gratitude, appreciation, or thankfulness is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive".

It is a positive emotion to give or receive thanks. Do you give thanks? I don't mean the polite, politically correct and etiquette kind of thanks. I mean thanks that come from positive emotions of gratitude. Wikipedia describes 'gratitude': a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation; "he was overwhelmed with gratitude for their help"

It's hard to give thanks or feel gratitude when the economy is poor; there are wars and rumors of war; heated disagreements over how the government should be run; yours or another's job loss, foreclosures; and that's not even counting personal problems caused by these things. It is disheartening that there are mega problems that surround us today. A hopeless feeling might come over some of us. Have you even thought of giving thanks for anything recently?

God talks to us via the Bible:

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." Psalms 100:4

"Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him for his excellent and surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the stringed instruments and organs, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." Psalms 150

Some might ask: How can I praise the Lord when everything is tumbling down? How can I give thanks in all circumstances? My life is upside down.

Again, the Bible speaks to us:

The Lord tells us in Psalm 32:8 - "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."

God wants us to be happy. His Word in Scripture reflects this. He instructs us in His Ways in the Bible and His instructions pave the way to happiness, peace and prosperity. How do we know that God wants us to be happy? He tells us in Proverbs 17:22:

"A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones."

One of the ways you can get happier and over the disillusionment of life's events is to start praising God and thanking Him. There are uncountable things we can thank him for and show true gratitude for. They can be little things; in fact, it's the little things that change your heart from downtrodden to a cheerful heart. I thank God for opening my eyes to see every morning and being able to get out of bed. I thank Him for the capability to drive, work, exercise, read, share love with my family and friends and for every meal I partake. These are all gifts and blessings from God. Not everyone has them. I don't pray every minute - but I do give thanks a lot. It's a habit now. For every close call in a car, or every misstep that didn't end in a fall, or even if I get to the bank just as they are closing the door, but let me in, I give thanks to Him and Praise Him. 'All good things come from God'. They don't have have to be lottery wins, or windfalls or extraordinary happenings. The more I praise Him and thank Him, the more cheerful I become. The negative things in my life become less prominent. Two matters cannot occupy the same space. My praises highlight the thankfulness; my thankfulness highlights the good and negates the bad; my gratitude is mind-changing.

Become aware of all the good things in your life. Start praising God for all the good things; give Him genuine gratitude. And you will find that you will achieve a happy heart and a cheerful mind. And when you become uplifted, don't forget to thank Him and praise Him for that, too!!

Marie Coppola  © 2009

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Comments (7)

Your article is a very inspirational piece Marie, well laid out & I enjoyed the read immensely, thank you for sharing this. Although I have never owned a bible what I have just read here describes the most excellent ways to open oneself up to receiving the best that life has to offer, by looking for the best in everything one has, & possess, praising themselves on their own abilities both mental & physical no matter how small or minor & even looking for the good in the people they associate with, & being in wonderment of the goodness that comes from this way of perceiving life whilst feeling truly considerate & grateful for it all. People like this allow nothing to get them down, or not for long anyway. It is quite possible nowadays some folk just take advantage of what they have & what they do & they take these things for granted & it becomes a nasty habit! Even how they perceive & treat themselves & others. Without real consideration towards these facts. This is what is attracted back to them because they haven't learned to appreciate themselves & others. Thank you for your thoughts penned, your words will enable folk the education needed by helping them become aware in their choice to change towards a better life & future. Regards Dale .

Marie Coppola

Thank you, Dale - it's comments like yours that make it worthwhile. Blessings, Marie

See, there you go again, writing inspiring words in the best light possible, thanks Marie, you are very special...so where are your books? I hope you have some published books, I have read some spiritual books in the past, but they sure do not sound as readable, or as beautiful as you write them. So, let me know where I can buy some of your books, It sure would be nice to be able to read these articles from a book or something....and I hope they contain some of your humor too. :)

Marie Coppola

What nice words, Barbara, they are appreciated. Recently I was published for a short, humorous story called Richard and Me in a Chicken Soup for the Soul "Shaping the New You"-- I will send it to you. :)


this article is really inspiring me thanks a lot for those ideas there were so helpul.


The only thing I can say that gratitude helps to increase spiritual emotion! Such analytical essays give us some piece of thought about such things.