The Point

The Point: The Object of Gratitude


John Stonestreet

Gratitude isn’t about us.

A recent Wall Street Journal article said something we’ve all sensed: kids aren’t as grateful as they used to be. Some experts blame the self-esteem movement. Turns out that children who think they’re the center of reality don’t know how to be thankful!

But new research suggests that children should instead learn to count their blessings. Parents who want their kids to excel socially and feel better about themselves should help their kids “learn to ‘think’ gratefully.”

That’s better, but it’s still missing something, or more accurately, Someone. To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, if we teach our children who to thank for the toys and candy filling their stockings on Christmas morning, shouldn’t they know who to thank for the two legs and two feet that fill their socks every other morning of the year?

Being grateful to God gives credit where it is due, and it orients us properly to the rest of our lives. If we think we’re the center of reality, we’ll always be lost.

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