Devotional: Gratitude Is Pro-Active

Feel, Show, Tell – Ways to Thank God for Your Strengths

Are you grateful for your strengths?

Many of us consider gratitude to be a feeling. But in scripture, gratitude is an action. In at least 162 places in the Bible, God references His desire for us to show gratitude. There are commands (“give thanks” and “offer thanksgiving”) along with actual demonstrations that model how and why to offer gratitude (“thanks be to God who has given us the victory”).

man worshiping

Image: Sermon Central

It is one thing to feel grateful for the way God has wired you … and quite another to tell Him “thanks” and show gratitude by using your strengths.

Expressing Gratitude for Your Strengths Affirms God

Pro-active gratitude to God for your strengths signals two truths.

First, when you give God thanks for your strengths you demonstrate your understanding that they are a good thing. 1 Timothy 4:4 reminds us, “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” (ESV). Even if you are surprised at the strengths you possess or secretly wish you were wired with other ones, by thanking God for your strengths you acknowledge that they have value.

In addition, when you thank God for giving you a unique set of strengths you also acknowledge He is their Source. “God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose” (1 Corinthians 12:18, ESV). God deliberately selected your specific strengths and placed them in you. When you show express thanks to Him for that gift, you open the door for His movement through you.

Ingratitude for Your Strengths Denies God

While gratitude is affirmation, ingratitude is denial.

Denial can take different forms: insensitivity (lack of awareness of your strengths), fear (anxiety about your strengths), or downright rejection (unwillingness to accept your strengths or acknowledge that they come from God.) In each case, ingratitude shows you don’t appreciate or acknowledge how God has specially wired you.

Ingratitude can even be clothed in false humility: “I am not anything special.” That sentiment rejects God’s role in creating your strengths by crediting your uniqueness (or lack of) as your own doing – that you are responsible for how you do or don’t demonstrate abilities. Taking the credit for God’s work reeks of pride … a dangerous business indeed.

Yet it is also quite sad. Because whether ingratitude for your strengths is rooted in denial or false humility, ultimately it prevents you from allowing God’s movement through you and in the lives of those around you.

Gratitude Is Pro-Active

Don’t just “feel grateful” for your strengths. Tell God you’re grateful and then show Him.

Express your appreciation to God for the way He has uniquely wired you. Thank Him for His tremendous creativity. Acknowledge your uniqueness. Then ask Him to show you how to use your strengths in ways that please Him.

When you thank God for giving you a unique set of strengths, you affirm His movement in your life … and open up the door to being His instrument in the lives of those around you.

It’s the perfect game of Show and Tell.

Growth Point

Thank God for your strengths – and use them.


I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14, ESV)

Prayer Points

  • Is it easier for you to feel grateful to God for your strengths or to tell Him you are grateful?
  • Take a minute right now to tell God “thanks” for your unique strengths.
  • Ask God to show you one way He would like you to use your strengths at home, at work, or in ministry this week.

Use the Leading From Your Strengths profile as a way for you to identify and understand your God-given strengths.

Devotionals about Gratitude

How to Be Thankful for Differences in Others

Devotionals: The Puzzle of Strengths

The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 1: The Puzzle of Unique Strengths

The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 2: The Puzzle of Interlocking Pieces

The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 3: The Missing Puzzle Piece

Devotionals: Ways the Disciples Used Their Strengths

Part 1: Managing Change – Let’s Go or Let’s Make a Plan

Part 2: Processing Information: That’s Wonderful or Give Me Proof

Part 3: Problem Solving: Fix It Now or One Step at a Time?

Part 4: Facing Risk: Outside the Box or Work the System?