Be Grateful and Be Happy
“THE impulse of gratitude is a fundamental human experience,” said the Calgary Herald, a Canadian newspaper. The Herald quoted some nine-year-old elementary school students who were asked by their teacher to write about all the things for which they were thankful. One youth said that he was grateful for his family ‘because they had cared for him.’ A young girl too was thankful for her family, saying: “They keep me safe, healthy, care for me, love me, feed me, and if it wasn’t for my parents, I wouldn’t be here on this earth.”
Ingratitude leads to chronic dissatisfaction. According to philosopher-theologian J. I. Packer, “we’re built to live in dependence on God and mutual dependence on each other.” This reminds us of the Bible’s wise counsel made centuries ago, which says: “Show yourselves thankful.” (Colossians 3:15) Expressions of thankfulness and heartfelt gratitude toward others help to cultivate caring relationships.
Furthermore, by appreciating and valuing one another, we also show ourselves thankful to Jehovah, and he notices this. The Bible says: “[Jehovah’s] eyes are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9) God assures us that he remembers and cherishes the love humans show for his name. (Hebrews 6:10) Yes, we have good reason to show ourselves grateful because this godly virtue, when expressed daily, pleases Jehovah and contributes to our happiness. It is as Proverbs 15:13 says: “A joyful heart has a good effect on the countenance.”