I’ve been thinking about thanksgiving and gratitude, this being the week of our American holiday Thanksgiving. There is a very subtle difference between them. Here’s what the dictionary has to say about each:
Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Thanksgiving: the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.
Gratitude is an attitude and thanksgiving is an act. These definitions tell me that it’s possible for me to be grateful without giving thanks. I can also give thanks without gratitude. Often what’s implied, however, is that gratitude elicits thanksgiving and thanksgiving is a response to gratitude.
I’ve also been thinking about how vital gratitude and thanksgiving are to our well-being.
Gratitude grounds our motivation and thanksgiving reminds us of the God who is.
Gratitude manifests kindness to others from the pool of an appreciative heart and thanksgiving acknowledges God as the source of all good things.
Gratitude is experienced and thanksgiving is expressed.
As we move into the holiday season, why not steel a few minutes each day for gratitude and thanksgiving. I bet it does wonders for your soul, not to mention your blood pressure!