God has chosen us to represent him, to act like him, speak like him, learn to think like him, and be like him. We are called to be good, to reflect the character of our Jesus. As we do that in gratitude for his grace to us, we demonstrate his love through our lives, and we pass his gracious forgiveness--grace we experienced first--on to others who need to experience it next.
The goodness that is in us--the character of Jesus--is practical, influencing our every decision through the day. God's goodness in us reaches out and touches everyone around us.
I was reading recently in my Spanish Bible, in Colossians, and encountered the phrase, "abundando en acciones de gracias," or in the English NIV, "overflowing with thankfulness." It occurred to me that overflowing with thankfulness--gratitude--is both a part of goodness and a result of goodness.
The Spanish is especially interesting, when we consider that gracias means both "thanks" and "graces." So we might say that we are to be "abounding in graces." Literally translated, the Spanish phrase means "abounding in actions of graces."
Gratitude and goodness are manifested as we abound in the graces of God, showering them on everyone we touch. As we tell people thanks--gracias--we can think of ourselves as telling them, "Graces to you." And we can do much worse than that.