Hundreds of years ago, Thomas a Kempis worried about our tendency to overlook the small gifts on the way to wanting more, and urged those who longed to grow in Christ-likeness, “Be thankful for the smallest blessing, and you will deserve to receive greater. Value the least gifts no less than the greatest, and simple graces as especial favors. If you remember the dignity of the Giver, no gift will seem small or mean, for nothing can be valueless that is given by the most high God.”
When our lives are shaped by gratitude, we’re more likely to notice the goodness and beauty in everyday things. We are content; we feel blessed and are eager to confer blessing. We are able to delight in the very existence of another human being. In a grateful community, individuals and their contributions are acknowledged and honored, and there is regular testimony to God’s faithfulness, through which the community experiences the joys of its members. Expressions of gratitude help make the community a live to the Word, the Spirit, and God’s work.