It is not surprising that one of the central themes in the Bible maps to practicing thankfulness, rejoicing, and gratitude. Just take a moment and meditate on these words: “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever”
Once again, the Bible and science agree. It is the cycle Jesus succinctly summarized in Matthew 10:8–freely we receive, so much so, that out of gratitude we are inspired to freely give.
I’m grateful for gratitude because, when we practice it, life is better. Paul reminds us, in 1 Thessalonians 5:16, that even when life is hard, we’d do well to “be thankful [grateful] in all circumstances” (NLT). I’m grateful for gratitude because it leads to praising life and to praising God for life.
Gratitude is probably the most scientifically studied virtue. We could do a Thanksgiving edition every year and focus entirely on new research each time. We know the benefits of being grateful, and we know steps each of us can take to become more grateful. We even know how gratitude correlates with, and often cultivates, other virtues like optimism, humility, and forgiveness.