"In every thing give thanks"

For many years I was puzzled when I was reminded to be grateful. I secretly reasoned to myself, "If God is all good, what difference does it make whether or not I express gratitude? If His allness is an eternal, permanent fact, nothing can change it. Certainly my lack of gratitude cannot lessen God's goodness."

After college, I struggled for several years with a deep sense of depression, often accompanied with physical effects, and received occasional help from Christian Science practitioners. One day when my condition seemed aggravated—I had just been fired from my job, and in fact every phase of my life seemed to be going wrong—I called a practitioner for help. She ended our conversation with, "Oh, aren't we grateful!" This seemed to me to be a very strange remark in the light of all the misfortunes that had piled up. Obviously I was lacking in an understanding of gratitude. I decided to go to the Christian Science Reading Room and read everything I could on the subject.

I found this passage in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, especially enlightening: "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. While the heart is far from divine Truth and Love, we cannot conceal the ingratitude of barren lives."Science and Health, pp. 3, 4;

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Are You Willing?
November 23, 1968

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