People should be more thankful than they are, Christians and non-Christians alike. There is nothing so satisfying as a thankful heart. There is nothing which brings so much joy, so much peace, so much comfort, so much health. A person with a truly thankful heart is a well person. We are speaking of thankfulness to God, the Giver of all good. The only absolutely real thankfulness one can have is thankfulness to Him. All other thankfulness is relative, comparatively nothing.

How shall thankfulness to God be shown? It is well to express thanks in words. Words sincerely spoken from a thankful heart help the speaker and others. Words of thankfulness returned to God in sweet communion with Him, are helpful to the communicants; they bring us consciously nearer to Him; they uplift and strengthen; they aid in enlarging our spiritual nature and in clarifying our spiritual perception. But the highest and most effectual form of thankfulness is in right thinking and living. We show our true appreciation of anything in deeds better than in words. We are thankful to God when we are doing His will. We give thanks in the measure of our active obedience to His commandments, in being about the Father's business. We are thankful in the degree of our overcoming selfishness, with its train of evils. We are thankful in proportion as we love our neighbor and do unto him as we would have him do unto us. We are thankful as we reflect the good that is ours by virtue of our real relationship to the infinite and supreme Good. Such thankfulness leads us to express it in both deed and word. We cannot help expressing it. If we have received Light we must reflect it in proportion. We could not, if we would, hide it under a bushel. We reflect it unconsciously, because it is the light Divine shining through the open window of our being.

How sweetly the Light thus unconsciously reflected often returns to us, not void, but filled with joy, the joy which comes from "Love reflected in love." We have just had a sweet taste of this joy. It came in a letter from which we extract. We distinctly remember the person and the occasion referred to, but we cannot recall a single word of what we said.

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The Lectures
December 12, 1901

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