In Featured, Pastor Paul's Blog

By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘THANKSGIVING’ as in… the reality that life’s richness depends not only on what we receive but how we engage with and respond to the world around us.

People wonder if there is a difference between gratitude and thankfulness. There is, but the difference is subtle.

We’re certainly grateful for friends, but we experience deeper thankfulness when friends speak words of comfort, insight, guidance, and love, which cause us to respond, ‘Thank you.’ We’re grateful for a cup of coffee or tea, a basic appreciation for a simple pleasure, but thankfulness grows out of the personal interaction with the barista who recognizes and greets us warmly, transforming the act of receiving coffee into a meaningful experience.

But thankfulness is not just about what we receive. Thankfulness is also about the connection, meaning, and emotions tied to the act of receiving. This is a butterfly effect. Thankfulness leads to a desire to respond through words, actions, or emotions. Our relationships with others deepen as we express our gratitude. When a friend provides comfort, insight, guidance, and love, thankfulness emerges for the friend’s actions and the bond and mutual understanding that these actions create.

Essentially, thankfulness transforms gratitude into a more profound and conscious emotional experience. Thankfulness invites us to reflect on the significance of the positive elements in our lives, nurturing deeper connections with the world around us. While gratitude is essential and should not be dismissed, embracing thankfulness allows us to cultivate a richer, more meaningful, and more intentional approach to appreciating the blessings in our lives. It reminds us that the richness of life lies not just in what we receive but in how we engage with and respond to the world around us.


Thriving Reflections:

++ Recall a time when you felt gratitude. What made it distinct from an experience of thankfulness?

++ Reflect on a recent interaction with someone that left you feeling deeply thankful. What elevated your sense of gratitude into a more profound emotional experience?

++ In your life, how do acts of thanksgiving contribute to your overall sense of well-being and thriving?



Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each week. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or his blog, Thriving Rhythms.


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