The importance of gratitude

Karl Reimer explains the importance of having gratitude in our daily lives.


Karl Reimer is the 2014 Opinions apprentice for The Chimes. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

Karl Reimer, Writer

For my Easter break, I flew to my home in Canada to spend some time with family and also look for a summer job. After three intense months of schooling, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to rejuvenate my mind, body and spirit. By the end of the break, my body was certainly physically rested. However, my inability to find a suitable summer job tensed up my mind and spirit. I was — and am — an ungrateful human, and that is not a healthy quality.


Gratitude is what enables us to persevere and stay upbeat instead of being upset when difficult problems come our way. It can be the difference between blaming God for things that don’t go our way, and praising him for an unexpected opportunity. For example, when important homework assignments are not accomplished on time, we stress and worry about the consequences. In situations like this, a sense of urgency can be beneficial. However, we should also maintain an attitude of gratitude for receiving a college education, even in times of stress.

Additionally, gratitude gives us pause to reflect upon God’s goodness in our lives. When we are prideful and jealous, we end up comparing ourselves to people who live like we want to, as opposed to recognizing the individual qualities that make our personal lives special and unique. There are times when role models can be very helpful as a point of reference. They give us goals to achieve and character qualities to aspire towards. But we should remember that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. That truth always remains relevant, regardless of whether we achieve our greatest ambitions.


Indeed, we should be encouraged by these words of Paul in Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Each one of us has personal anxieties and fears about the future. Relationships, job searches, university classes and religious doubts are all concerns we tense up about. We look ahead to greener pastures and better times. Yet, when our current anxieties are resolved, new ones will appear. There will always be future problems to deal with. Considering this, we should approach the future with a sense of peace. If we present ourselves to God in a humble fashion, he will mold our lives into something far greater than we could ever conceive.

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