Gratitude

Why Giving Thanks Is the Key to Our Well-Being

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Pub Date 06 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 29 Feb 2024

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Description

"This worthy meditation on an essential state of being uplifts without sugarcoating."--Publishers Weekly

What is gratitude? Where does it come from? Why do we need it? How does it change us?

In Gratitude, award-winning author Cornelius Plantinga explores these questions and more. Celebrating the role of gratitude in our lives, Plantinga makes the case that it is the very key to understanding our relationships with one another, the world around us, and God.

Going deeper than mindfulness and positive psychology, Plantinga explores gratitude in a theologically informed and pastorally sensitive way. He shows that being grateful to God is not only our righteous duty but also the single best predictor of our well-being. Gratitude makes us more faithful, joyful, generous, healthy, and content.

While it's easy to focus on the suffering, fear, and worries that surround us, Plantinga places all of that in the larger context of provision, abundance, and delight, empowering readers to experience the deep joy of giving thanks.
"This worthy meditation on an essential state of being uplifts without sugarcoating."--Publishers Weekly

What is gratitude? Where does it come from? Why do we need it? How does it change us?

In ...

Advance Praise

“Plantinga compellingly blends science and Scripture in shedding new light on ‘the greatest of the virtues.’ He sensitively argues that gratefulness is not merely a veneer of positive thinking but rather a deep and abiding sense that goodness dwells under the rancor and heartache of daily life. A master storyteller, he makes a convincing case for why gratitude, in good times and in bad, is the best approach to life!”—Robert Emmons, editor in chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology; author of Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier and The Little Book of Gratitude

“This book is a treasure of pastoral wisdom on a signature virtue of the Christian life. Plantinga is a master preacher, and it shows: this book seamlessly combines readability and rich insight. Gratitude reflects the gracious heart of God, and it befits us as people attuned to his goodness. Readers will be grateful for the gift of this book and the way it teaches us a grateful way of life.”—Rebecca DeYoung, professor of philosophy, Calvin University; author of Glittering Vices

“Cornelius Plantinga’s rich and insightful new book will do for gratitude what his Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be did for sin—which is to say, it will set the terms for all churches and pastors looking to have faithful and informed discussions on this central biblical concept. It is also an inspiring book, and while reading I found myself mentally preparing the sermon series that I will no doubt be preaching on its account. In short, this is a treasure, and all people—pastors and parishioners, people of faith and people not of faith—would be well advised to read it. Trust me, you’ll be grateful that you did.”—Austin Carty, pastor and author of The Pastor’s Bookshelf: Why Reading Matters for Ministry

“Cornelius Plantinga has blessed us with profound insights on the transforming power of gratitude in our lives. He draws from the deep well of theology that is known to a scholar who has obviously spent his career near this well. And yet he writes in the language of a pastor who is gifted at making biblical truth accessible to anyone who thirsts for living water. Along the way in the book it becomes apparent that he is also subversively prophetic to a society that tempts us with self-sufficiency apart from the blessing of receiving grace.”—M. Craig Barnes, president emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary

“Cornelius Plantinga has done it again! Shaped by deep theological insights and decades of pastoral reflection, he presents us with a wonderfully accessible, deeply wise, and beautifully written volume. The result is not just to lift our grateful gaze to the One who is worthy of our praise but also to liberate us to appreciate all the wondrous ways we can be thankful for the particulars of our lives. May this book help illumine your path, especially if it currently feels dim or even outright dark.”—Kelly M. Kapic, author of You’re Only Human

“This beautifully written book welcomes readers into gratitude as a way of life. Plantinga wisely and winsomely mentors us to notice and name gifts and givers—recounting God’s mighty acts and blessings in the midst of ordinary days, celebrations, and sorrows. Embracing the gifts of faith, science, Scripture, and everyday examples, Plantinga guides us in practices that cultivate gratitude to God and others with generosity and joy.”—Charlotte V. O. Witvliet, professor of psychology, Hope College

“Plantinga compellingly blends science and Scripture in shedding new light on ‘the greatest of the virtues.’ He sensitively argues that gratefulness is not merely a veneer of positive thinking but...


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ISBN 9781587436222
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PAGES 176

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Featured Reviews

Another book on gratitude, one might ask? Do we really need it? What more is there to say? To be honest, I had all these thoughts on starting to read Plantinga's book. It didn't take long for me to realise that this book brings something different and important in the discussion around the topic of gratitude.

Plantinga explores the Biblical roots, the psychological and physiological implications of gratitude. In doing so, he provides excellent Biblical exegesis, the results of research studies and examples of the grateful. We all want to be humbler and healthier don't we? Well, Plantinga provides a case that in becoming a grateful person we can become both. And one of the other wonderful elements of being grateful is that it feeds on itself. The grateful are generous and generosity feeds generosity both within the giver and receiver. It's quite magical.

Plantinga starts by exploring what gratitude is, how we get it, what blocks us from being grateful, and what happens to us if we are grateful. The second half of the book moves into exploring the Biblical themes surrounding gratitude, think how many verses mention 'thankfulness', 'give thanks,' and celebrating gratefulness. He ends the book with some wonderful examples of gifts that we can be thankful for.

This book exceeded my expectations and I'd encourage people to read it as being a grateful person is the best way to live irrespective of one's circumstances.

I feel very blessed to have received an early ebook copy from Brazos via Net Galley with no expectation of a positive review.

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A great primer on gratitude and how it should be displayed in our lives. Would be a great resource for a small group or bible study. Plantinga's wisdom is much appreciated!

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If you are picking up Cornelius Plantinga's "Gratitude: Why Giving Thanks Is the Key to Our Well-Being" expecting it to be some feel-good, greeting card reading experience you might want to think again.

Don't get me wrong. There's lots to feel good about here, however, Plantinga's "Gratitude" is far more than simply a feel-good, inspirational experience. It's an engaging and compelling tapestry of science meets theology, a gentle exegetical exploration of gratitude's Biblical foundations along with extensive research around gratitude. In other words, "Gratitude" doesn't drown us in toxic positivity but does, in fact, weave together a theologically based argument for gratitude at all times and in all things.

This might sound one and the same. It's not.

Plantinga explores the definition of gratitude, where gratitude comes from, why we need gratitude, and how gratitude changes our lives. In ultimately affirming the role of gratitude in our lives, Plantinga makes the case that gratitude is truly the essential ingredient in understanding our relationships with one another and with God.

"Gratitude" reads like a work of pastoral care, a theologically rooted book that clearly and concisely instructs gratefulness to God as righteous duty AND as the single best predictor of our well-being. Gratitude, Plantinga explains, turns us into more faithful, joyful, healthy, and content human beings.

I always appreciated "Gratitude," though I also can't deny there are times I'm in disagreement with Plantinga about how to and the implications of living into it. While Plantinga for the most part avoids toxic positivity, there are moments in "Gratitude" when I felt it dancing on the line of prosperity theology and when I'd have preferred an approach emphasizing "look for God" instead of "look for good."

Again, there's a difference.

Modest quibbles aside, "Gratitude" is a valuable primer on a central Biblical concept that is often overly simplified and not fully understood. Plantinga makes it all accessible and gently guides us down the road toward a more gratitude filled life.

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I found this book to be such a timely and encouraging message, especially today when our world seems to be so focused on themselves. I have a tendency to be a glass half empty type of person, and at times I struggle to keep my eyes on Christ and off of myself. Cornelius Plantinga's uplifting call for gratitude, contentment, and joy is exactly the message we need to hear today. God is the giver of every good and perfect gift, and thankfulness is a fitting response for grateful people.

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Always Be Thankful and Grateful

The author explains what gratitude is and states that there’s a big difference between occasionally feeling grateful and having a grateful disposition. He states that in a seminar on gratitude at Calvin University in July 2017, psychologist Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet explained to participants that people with a grateful disposition possess four tendencies, which are:
1. Feeling grateful with higher intensity than others
2. Experiencing gratitude with greater frequency
3. Being grateful for a wider array of good things
4. Experiencing gratitude with greater density—that is, having a thicker group of people to whom they are grateful for

He discusses various forms of gratitude, some benefits of being grateful, to include physical benefits. He states that in addition to lower blood pressure and healthier hearts, grateful people enjoy an eye-opening number of other benefits, such as:
1. They experience less depression and anxiety.
2. They sleep longer and better and awaken more refreshed.
3. They have lower levels of systemic inflammation.
4. They have higher levels of happiness and satisfaction with their lives.
5. They are less prone to materialism.
6. They are less prone to workplace burnout.
7. They are more resilient after traumatic events.
8. They are more patient.
9. They are more “prosocial”— more benevolent, more supportive of others.
10. They form and maintain strong relationships more consistently.

The author quotes biblical scriptures as to why we should always be grateful and give thanks to God for all that we have and all that God has done for us.
Very nice read. I enjoyed the fact that the author provided numerous biblical verses on giving thanks and being grateful. Highly recommend.

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Gratitude
Why Giving Thanks Is the Key to Our Well-Being
by Cornelius Plantinga
Pub Date 06 Feb 2024
Baker Academic & Brazos Press,Brazos Press
Christian


I have been given a copy of Gratitude by Baker Academic and Netgalley to review.




How do we express gratitude? Where does it come from? How does it benefit us? What effect does it have on us?



Cornelius Plantinga explores these questions and more in his book Gratitude. Celebrating the role of gratitude in our lives, Plantinga makes the case that it is the very key to understanding our relationships with one another, the world around us, and God.

Through theologically informed and pastorally sensitive exploration of gratitude, Plantinga goes deeper than mindfulness and positive psychology. According to him, being grateful to God is not only our righteous duty but also the best predictor of our wellbeing. Gratitude makes us more faithful, joyful, generous, healthy, and content.

It's easy to focus on the suffering, fear, and worries around us, but Plantinga places them in the context of provision, abundance, and delight, empowering readers to give thanks with deep joy.


I give Gratitude five out of five stars!


Happy Reading!

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