The liberating quality of gratitude

Have you ever been asked, "Are you grateful?" and replied, "For what?" The French word for gratitude is reconnaissance, which also means recognition. Clearly one cannot feel grateful unless he recognizes some good to be grateful for. The highest form of gratitude stems from recognition of God's goodness.

Christ Jesus showed that recognition of God's goodness, and gratitude for it, bring the further experience of outward good, as in physical healing or the provision of some necessity. Before raising his friend Lazarus from the dead, the Master said, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me." John 11:41; Maybe we haven't received a complete healing of some bodily condition as of today, but we, too, can thank God for the healing in advance and for His being unchanging good. Prior to feeding the four thousand, the Master had the people sit down, and, as Matthew records the event, "he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude." Matt. 15:36; Most of us are willing to express thanks after a need is met, but shouldn't we be following the Master's example? And, like Jesus, shouldn't we be thanking God for the good we already have, however inadequate it may seem to the material senses?

Where can we start in learning to be grateful? By expressing thanks for the knowledge that God is Spirit, unchanging perfection, and that man is His perfect spiritual idea. To understand God as Spirit is to trust Him and His ever-presence. The reason Jesus was able to offer thanks prior to a healing was that he understood God to be Spirit and Truth, and man His flawless spiritual offspring. The Master had no trust in matter with its discord and lack, because he completely trusted in Truth. Our trust also must rest in Truth alone. It cannot be divided. Mrs. Eddy writes, "... Trust in Truth, and have no other trusts." The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 171;

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November 19, 1979

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