Thanks before the Gift

On Thanksgiving Day the whole nation is called upon to render thanks to God for national prosperity, as well as for community and individual blessings. Christian Scientists are gladly obedient to this call upon the day designated; but they go farther in that they endeavor to make each day mark an ever increasing unfoldment of gratitude. One authority defines the word "thanksgiving" in Scriptural use as "an acknowledgment and confessing, with gladness, the benefits and mercies which God bestows either upon ourselves or others." But the so-called human mind requires material accumulation, which it calls substance, to be in possession before giving thanks.

Careful parents train their children to say, "Thank you," after receiving any present or courtesy. This habitual effort often results in little more than desultory politeness on the part of the children; and with increasing years and their harassments, complaint is often more manifest than thanks. As one seeks to reform his thinking in accordance with the law of God, as revealed in Christian Science, gratitude grows upon consciousness by prayerful study and by the practice of thanksgiving. Indeed, it takes sincere consecration to apprehend and appreciate the great gift of divine Love. Until one learns the meaning of true gratitude, there is little comprehension of the mental state which represents the word. The expectation of a material cause for thanks, or the habitual demand for tangible material gifts as prerequisites to gratitude, may explain why some find it hard at first to learn the real value of giving thanks.

True gratitude is one of the most potent means of grace and healing. It is a door between the human and divine which promptly opens to the meeting of the mental need for peace and at-one-ment with God; and the healing of all manner of disease follows as a natural consequence. Mary Baker Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 3): "Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech. If we are ungrateful for Life, Truth, and Love, and yet return thanks to God for all blessings, we are insincere and incur the sharp censure our Master pronounces on hypocrites. In such a case, the only acceptable prayer is to put the finger on the lips and remember our blessings." The persistent suggestion, born of false training and material thinking, that supply must be material in order to be of use, must be scientifically resisted, and overcome as surely as any physical disease is ruled out by the application of God's law.

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As a Man "thinketh in his heart, so is he"
November 24, 1928

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