“No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” – Alfred North Whitehead, English mathematician and philosopher.
The very nature of thanksgiving or being thankful is based on a reality that what I have, enjoy or appreciate was not my doing and for which I cannot take the credit. Many “things” would not be mine unless someone gave those gifts or favors to me. These gifts include possessions – but it doesn’t end there. It also includes the education I received, all good relationships (mother, father, wife, sister, brothers, children, grandchildren, extended family and friends), kindnesses, mentoring, rebukes, services, encouragements and an unending list of opportunities to use my time and talents.
One other thought: it is virtually impossible to be thankful if you are not humble. When you are humble, you have gratitude. Gratitude is visible when you express it in giving thanks. The recipient of thanks is encouraged and honored by your heartfelt appreciation for them and for their kindness to you. So, you reveal your humility by expressing thanks. You also reveal a lack thereof if you don’t.
- Psalm 95:1-2 (ESV) – “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!”
- Romans 1:21 (ESV) – “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”