NOUN | grat·i·tude
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness
synonyms: gratefulness · thankfulness · thanks · appreciation · indebtedness · recognition · acknowledgment · credit
Gratitude is a choice. It is not dependent on circumstances but rather is a decision to pursue an attitude in life which recognizes that every good thing is from God – whether a person, an opportunity, or material possessions.
Because we believe that Scripture is relevant and edifying to all of life, we base our gratitude on the character of God and the perfect goodness found only in Him. Only by pursuing God’s perfect plan for our life can one begin to appreciate His provision of people, opportunity, or possession. In Scripture, God’s command to be thankful, not only because of our circumstances but regardless of our circumstances, provides the foundation for life. Gratitude the outward expression of a thankful heart.
Gratitude is the essential life skill of valuing and appreciating the people, opportunities, and blessings around us. It is not easily accomplished because it does not come naturally. Rather, one must practice a habit of thankfulness. The development of habits require hard work and consistency.
In a generation that is increasingly described as “entitled,” the need for gratitude is evident. Harvard Graduate School of Education launched a “Caring Schools Initiative” to research students in middle school and high school; their findings identified a deficit in students’ ability to show care and gratitude for those around them. This unhealthy focus on self and achievement leads not only to selfish living but also to undue pressure and unhealthy obsessions with success and achievement (Caring Schools Project).
An education at Immanuel Christian High School will intentionally provide opportunities for students to develop the life skill of gratitude. Through travel experiences, exposure to disappointment and difficult circumstances, students will learn to navigate the inevitable difficulties in life with an attitude to appreciation and thankfulness, recognizing the goodness of God in all circumstances.
Col 2:7 (NASB)
…having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed,
and overflowing with gratitude.