Paul asked the question to the church of Corinth, but it could easily be the question we ask ourselves when we rise each morning, and before we fall asleep each night.
The question should emit a full admission that each blessing, each ounce of grace throughout the day, was not self-made but brought to us exclusively by the hands of God. Now think how different we would sleep at night and wake up each morning if we made that one invocation at the start and close of each day? Think how different our agendas and interactions would be with others if we started our day knowing that grace was buffeting each move we made?
In spite of all this, gratitude is still a hard-earned and practiced skill. At the very heart of our modern world is an absence of dependency and indebtedness. Everything points to us being self-made men or women. Unfortunately, as Lincoln declared in 1863, unknowingly at the time that this would be the curse of the ages, “We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.” Our sense of debt has transformed into our sense of rights, and we live in an age where it’s easy to attribute success, wealth, adoration, and praise as self-created and freestanding from God. When this happens, we eliminate the wondrous blessing of gratitude and destroy the ability to feel amazed and humbled at the gift of ever being chosen. I believe that this lack of gratitude is “soul-crushing.”
As the artist, Dante Gabriel Rossetti once said, “The worst moment for an atheist is when he is genuinely thankful, but has nobody to thank.”
As you go to bed tonight and when you wake up tomorrow morning, as well as all the subsequent days, make this your silent prayer… “Nothing taken for granted, everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace.”
It will change the way you approach your day and how you interact with others. Let all your “thinks” be thanks!