Thankfulness and gratitude are words we often use interchangeably to describe the same thing, but have you ever paused to consider the difference between these two words? As I reflected on this, I found these words from Swiss philosopher Henri Frederic Ariel to be helpful. He says that “Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” Think about how easy it is to offer a quick word of ‘thanks.’ Sometimes we do it naturally and casually and it reflects actual thankfulness, while other times maybe its because we think we are supposed to offer cordial appreciation. We ought to express our gratitude in words to one another and to God on a regular basis, that’s important. But might I also urge you to remember that your true gratitude becomes visible as you live a life of thankfulness through your actions. Think about what that might look in your life, and count on my prayers that you may live out your expressions of gratitude in everything you do and say today.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.