Recently, I purchased a new accessory for my water machine that diverts tap water into alkaline water. The salesperson also suggested I buy a kit containing several different sizes of adapters to increase my chances of matching the perfect fit for my diverter.
I went past the thought of receiving his assistance as a way for him to make a sale, and gratefully accepted his professional advice. Without his help, I would have had to trudge my machine into the service department for repair. This would have cost me several additional dollars, and I would be without my machine for two weeks; not a “happy camper.”
My Yoga instructor recently stated that expressing gratitude/gratefulness is a “universal” concept. Gratitude has the power to dramatically alter circumstances. However, there are various cultural differences in ways to express it. In the United States, the most common way to express our gratitude is by a verbal “thank you.” A more concrete way of demonstrating one’s gratitude is by offering or giving something. An even higher level of expressing gratefulness that is less self-focused and more relationship-promoting, is one that conveys genuine concern for another person’s well-being.
For example, I recognize the positive benefits brought to my life by others--teacher, mentor, parent, grandparent, pastor, friend, et al. Some have made great sacrifices for me during my life journey. I have received many cherished gifts. The people and the gifts are treasured as the valuable jewels of my life. I am extremely grateful for not only what I believe came from God, but also for those things He withheld or removed from my life to protect my safety and well-being.
It is so easy to blame someone you perceive as having done an injustice to you. But, if you were to set up a ledger of debits and credits (hurt versus helped), you can be certain that in the final accounting, the credit column would have the greater total.
The friendship between David and King Saul’s son, Jonathan, speaks volumes to the expression of “connective” gratefulness. Saul who was extremely jealous of David, exhibited a Jekyll/Hyde-type relationship toward David. Jonathan showed his devotion to his friend David by taking his part against Saul, who had ordered David to be killed. Jonathan saved David’s life. (I Samuel Chapter 20:30-42)
After Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle and David became King, he never forgot the sacrifice Jonathan made to save his life. After many fierce battles between the House of Saul and the House of David, David brought Jonathan’s crippled son to live at his house forever and treated him like a king’s son. David also willed to him all of Saul’s land and possessions that had been captured.
(2 Samuel 9: 5-13)
Biblical history reveals that opportunities for gratefulness can occur unexpectedly and with surprising results. Remember the story of Hannah, barren for many years, and taunted about her childlessness by her rival who had children? Hannah was finally blessed with a son, and she expressed her gratefulness by giving him to the priest for temple service. Her child became one of the most famous prophets in Old Testament history. His name was Samuel.
Ingratitude is the attitude that someone owed you whatever you received. In other words you are entitled to receive everything. Along that same vein, it’s like getting his or her help and saying they get paid to do a job.
Gratitude displays humility (recognizing that without others, I would not have succeeded), sensitivity (being aware of the feelings of others), and a grateful attitude (expressing sincere thanks). Gratitude is a powerful way to detour some of the ingratitude of life and keeps you from falling off a cliff.