Thankfulness needs to be expressed out loud, not just in thought

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From “Growing in the character of a disciple”: Chapter 3 – Cultivate the attitude of thankfulness until it is a habit

You might convince yourself that you are a thankful person deep down, and that you feel thankful even if you don’t express it. But that won’t do. What really counts is what you say, not what you think, or believe you think. The way God has made us is such that our mouths have a vital role to play. We need to speak, not just to feel. Thankfulness needs to be expressed in words. It’s not enough just to feel thankful inwardly, or to think thankful thoughts. We need to say it out loud to God and also to other people:

1O give thanks to the LORD,
for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble

Psalm 107:1-2 (RSV)

We cry out loud to God when we are in a crisis, rather than just thinking silent thoughts asking for His help. So too, our thanksgiving needs to be audibly expressed, either in speech or in song:

19Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress;
20he sent forth his word, and healed them,
and delivered them from destruction.
21 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to the sons of men!
22And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

Psalm 107:19-22 (RSV)

Moreover, our thanksgiving should frequently be in the presence and hearing of other people, not just when we are alone:

31Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to the sons of men!
32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

Psalm 107:31-32 (RSV)

30With my mouth I will give great thanks to the LORD; I will praise him in the midst of the throng.

Psalm 109:30 (RSV)

We need to get into the habit of finding, and taking, opportunities to speak out loud to give thanks for our blessings. We must tell God and tell others. The very act of speaking in that way will improve us from the inside out and change how we think, feel, and act. Plus, it will affect other people and do them good. It will make us a positive influence, rather than a bad one.

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