Gratitude is an Attitude
Gratitude is an Attitude
Over the course of many years, James Banks has had many devotionals in Our Daily Bread. In his devotional on January 31, 2022, we wrote about an event which took place on January 15, 1919. A massive storage tank in Boston which held molasses burst and spilled more than two million gallons of the sticky substance. The molasses became a 15-foot-tall wave sweeping through the streets of Boston at more than 30 miles per hour. Normally, molasses is a sweet food, not a dangerous tidal wave, but on this occasion it was deadly. More than 150 were injured and 21 people died. Banks observed, “sometimes even good things—like molasses—can overwhelm us unexpectedly.” His assessment is valid. God warned the Jewish nation before they entered the land he had promised that they needed to be careful lest they take for granted the blessings they were about to be given and forget him. Moses wrote, “When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you… Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees…
For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt… Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful…” (Deuteronomy 8:10–14, 17, NLT) God’s warning is necessary because all of us can easily take our blessings for granted. When we are blessed with something new it is usually not difficult to be grateful, however, as time passes we tend to believe we are entitled to our blessings and we forget to acknowledge God. This is not something we should forget except on the fourth Thursday in November, we need to be reminded the blessings we enjoy are from God. Even when we work hard for the good things we have, we would do well to acknowledge that our health and abilities are blessings not everyone has been given. Banks wisely concluded his devotional with this challenge, “Oh, to hold our blessings with open hands, that we may gratefully praise God for His kindness to us!” Simply put, our blessings are gifts and each of us needs to be grateful to God for them.