Dose of Truth

Gratitude is an attitude

Tim Richards

Over the course of many years, James Banks has had many devotionals in “Our Daily Bread.” In his devotional on Jan. 31, 2022, he wrote about an event which took place on January 15, 1919. A massive storage tank in Boston holding molasses burst and spilled more than two million gallons of the sticky substance.

The gooey mess became a 15-foot-tall, 30 miles per hour wave sweeping through the streets of Boston. Molasses is a sweet food, not normally a dangerous tidal wave, but on this occasion it became destructive and deadly. More than 150 were injured and 21 people died. Banks observed, “sometimes even good things – like molasses – can overwhelm us unexpectedly.”

His assessment is valid. God warned the Jewish nation before they entered the promised land, that they needed to be careful lest they take for granted the blessings they were about to receive and forget him. Moses wrote, “When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you… Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees… For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt… Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful…” (Deuteronomy 8:10–14, 17, NLT)

God’s warning is necessary because all of us tend to take our blessings for granted. It is easy to be thankful when something good happens; it is new and fresh in our minds. However, over time as more good things come our way, we may forget how blessed we are and feel we are somehow entitled to the good things happening to us. When we do that we forget to acknowledge God is the source of all that is good.

We need to be reminded the gifts we enjoy are from God. Even when we work hard for the good things we have, we would do well to acknowledge that our health and abilities are blessings not everyone has received. Banks wisely concluded his devotional with this challenge, “Oh, to hold our blessings with open hands, that we may gratefully praise God for His kindness to us!” Simply put, our blessings are gifts and each of us needs to be grateful to God for them.

As a pastor and columnist for nearly 15 newspapers, Tim Richards has lifted the spirits and challenged the hearts of those who have strong faith as well as those whose faith is weak. In his third book, “Sailing Through the Storm,” readers will again discover new ways to live with godly perspective in a world that increasingly seems to have lost its way.

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim’s photos may be viewed at