There is no quality which is more of a life preserver to the...

Christian Herald

There is no quality which is more of a life preserver to the moral and spiritual nature than that of thankfulness. The person who is keenly aware of his blessings and who renders thanks to God for them, has brought a force into his life which keeps it sensitive and fresh The person who goes through life taking things for granted, never humbled by a keen realization of what he has received as an unearned gift, is a dull scholar in the school of life....

Thankfulness saves us from the peril of conceit. A man who is conscious of how much more has been done for him than he can ever repay, never gets into the foolish, conceited habit of calling himself a self-made man. There are no self-made men. We all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, who have lifted us up, who have given of themselves so that we may have more abundant life. The habit of conceit is one of the worst tragedies that can happen to a man's mind and soul. There is no surer way of avoiding it than the habit of thankfulness to God, from whom we have received all, and to others who have given us so much.

It saves us from the waste of life. Charles William Eliot, who was president of Harvard University, and who knew thousands of students in very intimate relationship used to say that "the most effective appeal I could use to draw men back from a start on a life of dissipation was to bring out how much their parents and families had done for them. What a disappointment it would be if they wasted their lives!" In other words, it was an appeal to the motive of reverent gratitude. Without this habit of thankfulness we have lost one of the strongest helps we might have.

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