Opinion | Discipleship

Why Gratitude Is Not Enough

Ann Voskamp's book 'One Thousand Gifts' threatens to turn thanksgiving into the key to our salvation.

I spend most of my time on domestic chores and child care, and I'm inclined to see those tasks in a sacramental light, looking for moments to reflect on with gratitude. Also, I cherish the seemingly small. My son's dimples, my tomato plants grown from seed, and wild animals and flowers call me to spontaneous thanks and praise of my Creator. Thanking God is both biblical and psychologically beneficial, a correct creaturely response to his goodness. So for all these reasons, I was intrigued by Ann Voskamp's new book, One Thousand Gifts, and its growing popularity. Its subtitle—"A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are"—and Voskamp's challenge to list 1,000 things to be grateful for seemed to me to hold promise.

The book, following the popularity of Voskamp's blog, loosely chronicles Voskamp's journey from doubting God's goodness to a deep commitment to practicing gratitude. Early in childhood, Voskamp's family lived through something unspeakably tragic: the accidental death of ...

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