It is not enough to say that Paul had a thankful spirit without sufficiently proving it. The proof is that he was not thankful to God only at the success of his work, but also at the success of other people’s evangelical work (Phil. 1:3; Col. 1:3; 1 Thess. 1:2-3, 8; 1Cor.1:4). Paul thanked God for the progress the church in Rome was making, though he was not the person that established it. This shows he was happy with the gospel-work of others, fulfilling or practicing what he was preaching (Rom. 12:15). Even when others presented the gospel wrongly, Paul rejoiced that the gospel has been preached, the motive of the preacher notwithstanding (Phil.1:15 – 18). The great load of responsibilities which hindered Paul from visiting Rome earlier (cons. Rom. 16:19, 22-23) did not make him to murmur. He was rather thankful to God, for he considered it a great privilege (1Tim. 1:12).
Some Christians often do not rejoice and give glory to God when a successful gospel-work has been done by other Christian groups. We should be thankful to God even for the gospel work of other Christian groups irrespective of their standard and motive. This will create a positive or sound mind toward others that will enhance praying for them (1 Thess. 5:17-19).
One that has a thankful spirit will not readily find fault or criticize. He makes constructive criticisms in a friendly and cheerful spirit if he sees any fault. Pastors should always thank God for their congregation and the congregation for their Pastors.
A husband should thank God for his wife and children though he is the breadwinner, and the wife for her husband, though she may be the breadwinner. Follow-up workers should thank God for the little improvement their converts are making (cons. Phil. 1:3, 6; 1Cor. 4:14).
If we cultivate this attitude, criticizing of one and the other will be absent or at least minimized in our midst. Apart from these, we should emulate Paul by saying to one another: I thank God for His grace in your life. Such expressions edify the hearer (cons. Eph. 4:29).
Also, we have to be thankful to God for this ministry. If we see it as a great privilege to belong to this ministry, the load of responsibilities we have in this ministry will not weary us.