It is Thanksgiving week in the United States. A time of gratitude.
Gratitude: noun: a joyful thankfulness, a desire and readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness; a sentiment of kindness or goodwill toward a benefactor. For the Christian, gratitude includes giving goodness and grace to others as the giver has first received from God.
Gratitude has three components. Gratitude first requires a recognition for what and to whom one is grateful. This includes acknowledgement, acceptance, and thankfulness for the gift.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, and His steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:1 ESV
Second, true gratitude is sustained over time. Just about everyone is grateful when someone does something particularly kind for him or her. But the more time passes, the less gratitude most people have. People remember the bad done to them far longer than the good. True gratitude is sustained over time no matter the circumstance.
Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 GNT
Finally, true gratitude is the genesis of goodness and happiness. Gratitude is the most important of all the good character traits, and the gateway to the Fruit of the Spirit.
Christian gratitude, then, is the certain and sustained knowledge of God’s plan of redemption and its wholehearted acceptance as a free gift. Christian gratitude results in an orientation of the heart manifest in the life of a Christ follower. As the giver has first received from God, the love of God is the greatest statement of gratitude. And the love of our fellow man the second.
I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30 NKJV
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done.