“I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people.” – Psalm 52:9.
If you were asked, I am thankful for my (blank), what would your answer be? Probably some big things like health, fame. fortune, wife, children, siblings, and vacations. And there would be some improbable things like: Google Maps, sorting laundry and finding no socks are missing, rainbows, and the seat next to you on a crowded flight is miraculously empty. Or finding cash in a pair of jeans you haven’t worn for a while. Or maybe, it would be a very special thank you to you. You know who you are. That special, unique, amazing person in my life who supports me, lifts me up, comforts me and brings joy to my life. I need you and you need me. That you.
Without exception, everyone I know has been positively influenced by other people. I have seen example after example of people who have succeeded collectively where their solo efforts failed. God desires Christians to live in community, bearing each other’s burdens, striving together, as Paul says in Colossians 1:28,29. We all want an abundant life full of love, joy, and peace. These are noble and worthwhile goals, but nearly impossible to pull off by ourselves. We need strength and wisdom from other believers to fully experience God. We need other people.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 talks about this subject: “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Walking with God means community with others. Alone, I just won’t have the same experience or quality of life.
We all need people in our lives and we should be grateful for them. Consider how empty, purposeless, and meaningless our lives would be without relationships. Relationships have shaped who we are and who we are becoming. While it is easy to thank God for the things in our lives, we should remember to be equally thankful for the people God has placed in our lives as well.
Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.” –A.W. Tozer
- Why is gratitude an important quality in the Christian life? In what ways do you struggle to be thankful?
- How often do we need to reset our gratitude meter? How easy is it to just thank God for things in your life? How easy is it to thank other for the role in your life?