6 Practical Ways to Demonstrate Thankfulness

Gratitude. Thankfulness. How often would you say you experience these feelings?

They are powerful emotions that have the ability to transform our perspectives and the perspective of those around us. When we express thankfulness, we not only acknowledge the goodness and kindness we receive but also cultivate a positive mindset and foster stronger relationships. Let’s explore six practical ways to demonstrate thankfulness in our daily rhythms.

  1. Express Appreciation Through Words

One of the simplest yet most powerful ways to show thankfulness is by expressing our appreciation through words — not just generic words, but specific, heartfelt words. How often do you take the time to sincerely thank people? Genuine gratitude has the power to uplift spirits and strengthen connections. I confess, I do not express my gratitude like Paul would probably expect in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I feel gratitude, but I often fail to express it well.

To those sweet friends who write amazing thank you cards, you have a gift! Don’t take it for granted. Writing a thank you note that allows the other person to feel both appreciated and seen are powerful!

  1. Practice Active Listening

Being truly present and actively listening to others is another meaningful way to demonstrate thankfulness. When engaging in conversations, focusing our attention on the speaker, maintaining eye contact, and avoiding distractions is more than just showing basic respect. By giving someone our undivided attention, we convey appreciation for their thoughts and feelings. We show that we value their presence and the opportunity to connect on a deeper level. James 1:19 reminds us to “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” In the pace of our culture, active listening is an art. It takes practice. It takes work. It is worth it!

  1. Show Kindness Through Acts of Service

We know the adage “actions speak louder than words,” but we also know it’s true! Performing acts of service is an impactful way to demonstrate thankfulness. Whether it’s helping a friend with a task, volunteering for a local charity, or lending a hand to a neighbor, small acts of kindness show gratitude for the blessings you have and contribute to a more compassionate and grateful world. 1 Peter 4:10 tells us that “each [of us] has received a gift, use it to serve one another.” What better way to show our gratitude toward the Lord than to make use of the gifts He’s given us!

  1. Give Thoughtful Gifts

Gift-giving allows us to show appreciation for others in a tangible way. Thoughtful gifts, regardless of their monetary value, demonstrate that we have taken the time and effort to consider the recipient’s interests, preferences, and needs. When selected well, gifts can again help others to feel seen.

I recently received a package of pens. Anyone who knows me knows that pens are my FAVORITE. However, receiving this gift was about more than thanksgiving. It was about relationship. My gift giver knows me and loves me.

  1. Practice Daily Reflection

In the midst of our busy lives, it’s crucial to set aside time for self-reflection and prayer in order to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. This practice can be as simple as keeping a gratitude journal. By consciously acknowledging our own blessings, we develop a more grateful perspective and a heightened sense of appreciation in the everyday.

  1. Pay It Forward

One of the most powerful ways to demonstrate thankfulness is by paying it forward. When being the recipient of kindness or assistance, instead of simply saying “thanks,” consider going one step further. Look for an opportunity to help another person in need; create a ripple effect of gratitude and goodwill. Paying it forward allows us to inspire others to do the same and create a chain reaction of kindness. Galatians 6:10 “as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone.”

Thankfulness is not merely a sentiment to be felt but an attitude to be lived. By incorporating these six practical ways to demonstrate thankfulness into our daily lives, we can cultivate a deeper sense of gratitude and enrich our relationships with others. Through these relationships, we can reflect the image of our Creator. Through these relationships, the door opens to share the Gospel. May we bring God glory in our thanksgiving, as He opens doors for others to see Christ in us and ultimately hear the Good News of Jesus. After all, his death, burial, and resurrection reflects the ultimate act of service. Now it’s up to us to pay it forward.

Thankfulness is not merely a sentiment to be felt but an attitude to be lived.

-Tyra Harnishfeger

Let us embrace the transformative power of thankfulness and inspire a culture of love and faithfulness. Remember, gratitude is contagious, and when we express it sincerely, it has the potential to create ripples of impact.


Let’s journal:

  • How often do you feel grateful?
  • How often do you demonstrate thankfulness?
  • How do you demonstrate thankfulness?
  • What are you thankful for today?
  • Do a scripture search for the word “thankful.” What scripture most resonates with you and why?

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