Weekly Devotional: An Attitude of Thankfulness

A yellow "thank you" note.

Thanksgiving tends to mark the beginning of the holiday season and highlights the importance of thankfulness. But practicing thankfulness on just one day a year isn’t going to help us feel more thankful for what we have. By developing an attitude of thankfulness, we can continue to give thanks for what we have every day in every circumstance.

In This Devotional:

Developing an Attitude of Thankfulness

An attitude can be described as a tendency to think about things and act based on those thoughts in a certain way, usually learned from past experiences.1 Attitudes effect the way we think and the way we behave. So, how can having an attitude of thankfulness help us to be more thankful throughout the year?

An attitude can influence our actions and is often based on the way we see certain situations. We might not feel thankful all the time because we may have stopped seeing the things around us that give us a reason to be thankful. By changing the way we see normal, everyday things in our lives, our thoughts can be influenced and we can become individuals with thankful attitudes.

In the midst of your day, stop and prompt yourself to think about what you have to be thankful for — you might be surprised at how long of a list you can come up with. Life itself is something to be thankful for, since we are not promised each day. We often overlook how fortunate we are for good health, access to quality food, the chance to make new connections, receive an education and live in freedom

Bad things do happen. You might be struggling with something very difficult. This doesn’t mean that you have nothing to be thankful for. You can be sad and still have an attitude that says, I am thankful for what I have been given in this life and for the people around me who positively impact my life. In fact, by holding an attitude of thankfulness, we can feel more fulfilled by small things amid tough times.

The Power of Thank You

There is power in saying, thank you. Say it more often to those who do something for you that you appreciate, even if it is just the stranger who holds the door for you. Recognize those little things and demonstrate your attitude of thankfulness by actually thanking people.

Thank your parents for doing their job to raise you, love you and support you. Thank the teachers who offer you extra advice and thank those who show up and do their jobs well every day just so your life is easier. The janitors, the cashiers and waiters, the classmates and strangers who go out of their way to help you out or compliment you. So many people we interact with all day long could be thanked for the way they impact our lives, even in very small ways. All these interactions add up and by the end of the day, you might begin to notice all the people you had the opportunity to thank today. Imagine the impact we could have on our attitudes and on the attitudes and feelings of others if we said thank you more often.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV

Your clean air, food, water and life itself are all things you can say thank you for each and every day to the God who provides for you. Giving thanks in all circumstances doesn’t mean thanking God for what has gone wrong. Instead, we should aim to be thankful for all the small and overlooked blessings we have despite what has gone wrong. The gratitude you practice every day can help you thrive in any situation.

At Grand Canyon University, our commitment to fostering this sense of thankfulness is what sets us apart, guiding our students to embrace a transformative educational experience that not only can enrich your life but can also empower them to make a difference in the world. Fill out the form on this page and begin your journey with us!

1 Cherry, K. MSEd. (2023, March 11). The Components of Attitude: Definition, Formation, Changes. Verywellmind. Retrieved on Oct. 12, 2023. 

Approved by the local outreach coordinator of the Spiritual Life Department on October 12, 2023.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.