“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Colossians 3:16

The word gratitude comes from the same word as the word freedom. When something is ‘gratis’, it’s free. Gratitude is our voluntary expression toward God who freely gives. We enjoy many of God’s blessings, yet so often we forget God.

We cannot legislate for people to be grateful. We may insist on a child giving thanks, “say thank you to grandma for the present.” But we can’t force people to be grateful. It’s a heart attitude and is given freely.

Gratitude acknowledges that we are in someone’s debt. We feel obligated to someone because of something they have freely done for us. It can make us feel reliant on someone else’s efforts. Perhaps this explains why we don’t always feel a sense of gratitude. We may not want to acknowledge our indebtedness, our inadequacies or our need.

As Christians, it’s good to practice gratitude. We may have heard the gospel message so many times, we take it for granted and forget to acknowledge our indebtedness to God. Let’s take time to remind ourselves of all God freely chose to do for us; reflect on the great personal cost of allowing Jesus to die on our behalf; and remember that before we even call to him, he was reaching out to us. When we do, we will find our hearts filling with love, praise and thanksgiving.

We needed a Saviour, God provided. Let’s often call to mind Jesus’ life, death and resurrection with deep gratitude.