Is Gratitude is a Learned Behavior?


Ephesians 5:19-20

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christmas is coming, and my children have presented us with their wish lists. The items on the lists are not inexpensive. Interestingly, they already have similar items. We don’t deny our children toys and electronic gadgets, but the items on their wish lists represent the newest, biggest, or best items in those particular categories.

I wonder what happened. We have tried to raise our children to be thankful for what they have, and to live within our means.

I think the “desire for stuff” is a learned behavior, and is detrimental to having a grateful spirit. Our culture bombards us with commercials of all kinds of products that say “buy me and you will be happy,” but that happiness is fleeting. It only lasts until the next better product comes along. It’s a vicious cycle.

How do we stop the cycle?

I believe gratitude is a choice. It’s a behavior; therefore we have personal control over the behavior. When things aren’t going the way we like, we can choose to wallow in self-pity, or choose to look at all the many blessings we do have. It’s then we may see how rich we really are.

One way to see our many blessings, and cultivate a grateful spirit, is to squelch the idea that we don’t have enough. The idea that we need more primarily comes through advertisements. So, we’re cutting off the TV as an experiment. While I can’t stop the flood of all the advertisements we are exposed to, I don’t have to bring them into my home. Let’s see if I can cultivate gratitude in my home, by eliminating what is detrimental to gratitude.

How do you cultivate a grateful spirit?


Have a grateful day.


Scripture is from

Image is from Google images

6 thoughts on “Is Gratitude is a Learned Behavior?

  1. It is difficult to cultivate a grateful spirit in our culture of having more, bigger and better. One way to help our children understand gratitude is to have them serve others. When they realize how blessed they are and how little others have, it helps give them a better perspective. Blessings!

  2. I have a friend who takes her five children’s wish lists shopping with them. (She started doing this when her oldest was two years old.) Their assignment is to pick out something from their own wish list and buy it with their own money. Then they wrap it and donate it to a needy child for Christmas. Over the years she has found that her kids don’t always pick the least expensive gift to give. They find joy in giving something they really want.

  3. thank you so much for the reminder … I think we can cultivate this attitude of thankfulness. I believe it comes from trusting that God knows and sees … and from knowing that He is in control. With that submission and surrender is hugely important. A bending of the will to Him, Whom we can trust to give us what is best.
    Blessings to you!


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