Devotional: How to Be Thankful for Differences in Others

A Devotional About Gratitude

Quick question: are you thankful for the differences you see in those around you?

  • Maybe
  • No
  • Not always

If you mentally checked any of the above answers, take heart. It is natural to struggle with specific differences we see in others.

You may be confused by or even dislike how others are wired. But no matter your personal preferences, you can find ways to be thankful for the fact that other people are different from you.

Be Thankful You Need Differences in Others

hand on shoulder

Image: Reach Out

Do you want to expend the effort required in order to develop skills that don’t come naturally to you? It is much more fulfilling to simply be yourself. God placed other people in your life in order to make up for the strengths you don’t have. “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you’” (1 Corinthians 12:21, ESV).

You may not like differences in others. But you have need of what each person offers.

Differences mean you can be yourself. God placed others in your life so that you don’t have to be all things to all people. Quite simply, differences are a relief. That’s one great reason to be grateful for the differences in others around you.

Be Thankful Differences Make You Unique

Many of us shrink back from being considered different than others and instead are anxious to blend in and be part of a group.

Yet ironically, the herd mentality propagates the stress of not belonging because fitting in requires work.

But acknowledging differences in yourself and others affirms belonging. Uniqueness makes a special place for each of those in your circle – including you. “In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5, NIV).

Whether or not you acknowledge your differences or the differences of those around you becomes a moot point, in viewing that each of you remains an important part of the whole.

The value of uniqueness: it is another good reason to be grateful for the differences in others around you. Differences mean you belong.

Be Thankful You Recognize the Mystery of Differences

Habits in others may puzzle you. Their attitudes may confuse you. How God wires each of us remains a mystery.

But once you understand that differences are God-given, you’ve cracked the code in building healthy relationships. You need not understand how or why others have certain strengths.

Instead, you can simply be grateful for the fact that they are different than you. And that is a good thing.

Growth Point

Thank God for differences in others.


The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” (1 Corinthians 12:21, ESV)

Prayer Points

  • Ask God to show you one way strengths in others around you gives a sense of relief that you don’t have to “be everything.”
  • Consider how your differences create a unique place for you in your family, work environment, or ministry.
  • Take a minute right now to thank God for unique differences you see in a family member or co-worker.

More Devotionals about Gratitude

Gratitude is Pro-Active

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?