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What Is Gratitude?

Gratitude is our response of thankfulness for God’s goodness, love, provision, and grace. It is the undercurrent of all other faith practices—the well out of which they flow.

Gratitude: Responding to God’s Goodness

by Chris Schoon, Director of Thrive-US

"The practice of gratitude is about recognizing, trusting, and responding to God’s goodness and abiding presence with us. There is a call and response that names and reinforces this posture:

Leader: “God is good . . .”
People: “all the time.”
Leader: “All the time . . .”
People: “God is good.”

Gratitude forms us as a people who look with confidence toward God as the One who loves us, who saves us in Jesus Christ, and who will ultimately deliver all of creation from our entanglement with sin and its consequences. More than simply saying thank you, practicing gratitude trains us to respond with all that we are to God’s generosity in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

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Helpful Resources on Gratitude

Scripture passages on gratitude and a resource list of good things to read, watch, and listen to.

How Can I Practice Gratitude?

Practicing Gratitude Individually

Practicing Gratitude with a Group

Practicing Gratitude as a Family

Points to Ponder

Explore these questions in personal reflection, at home, or in small groups:

  • How can I practice gratitude even when things are hard?
  • How might gratitude (or a lack of it) be shaping my faith?
  • Who could be a “gratitude mentor” in my life? Who do I know that practices gratitude well and contagiously? How could I learn from that person?
  • How might I point others toward gratitude in ways that affirm them without minimizing the difficulties in their lives


"To be grateful is to recognize the love of God
in everything He has given us—
and He has given us everything.
Every breath we draw is a gift of His love,
every moment of existence is a grace. . . .”

—Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude  Tweet this quote 

Explore Other Faith Practices

Faith Formation Ministries’ Faith Practices Project explores twelve Christian practices or spiritual disciplines: sabbath, gratitude, generosity, hospitality, engaging Scripture, justice and mercy, listening, celebration, prayer, wonder, remembering, and service.