You know how words can mean similar things, but one word conveys that meaning with greater emphasis than the other word? That’s my theory about the words “thanks” and “gratitude”. Because “thanks” is something you say when another person opens a door for you. “Thanks” is something you say casually when someone passes the salt for your french fries. When you sneeze and someone says, “Bless you,” you say “thanks.”
But “gratitude”? Now there’s a word with some weight behind it. “Thanks” is too little when used to express appreciation for a stranger providing assistance to the worried mother of three, stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. The singular syllable of the word “thanks” just can’t convey the feelings a parent feels when a child turns the corner of healing from the consequences of painful choices. A mere “thanks” is insufficient when your mother, practically blind, has her sight restored by the gifted hands of an eye surgeon.
Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the promise of better days — joyful days — can only result in one word:
I am grateful.
Colossians 3:16 (NIV)
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.