Grateful Responsibility

“Repentance requires a change of will, a redirected disposition to seek a new life of forgiveness and grateful responsibility.” _Thomas Oden, Life in the Spirit, p. 87


I like the expression, “grateful responsibility.” 

Duty can become cold and sterile without the warmth and passion of gratefulness. 

But here’s the thing about gratefulness…it doesn’t come pounding on your door, you have to look for it.

Our consumer-driving society cannot afford for us to be too grateful–that would be disastrous! Matter of fact, virtually every signal we received from our culture is designed to make us ungrateful!

Gratefulness does not motivate us to go out and spend more, ungratefulness does. The message is almost always…

  • “What you’ve got is not enough and is not good enough.”
  • “To really be happy, satisfied, and successful you must have this…”


Let me illustrate with my sock drawer…

If I lost half my socks I’d hardly notice, but if I lost my wife Sonja…that would be devastating.

Thus, when I sort my socks I’m never inspired to be grateful for my abundance of socks, but when I serve Sonja…if I remember how grateful I am for her…the service becomes a grateful duty. And that gratefulness changes everything.

The ONE THING for today: On this day when we especially remind ourselves to be grateful let’s not only be grateful for what we have, but for what we have to do…and especially for the people we are responsible to do it for.

This picture does not do justice to the natural beauty of Lake Bemidji in Bemidji, MN. Sonja and I recently spent a weekend in Bemidji to celebrate our 43rd anniversary and enjoyed the beautiful little town of Bemidji. We highly recommend touring the Lake Bemidji State Park with it natural beauty and well-maintained trails that weave along the coastline of beautify Lake Bemidji which is approximately 11 square miles (7000 acres). It is less than 50 miles downstream from the source of the Mississippi River and it both receives and is drained by the Mississippi. Imagine that – the Mississippi River is a long way from Mississippi in this picture!

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