We all have the ability and opportunity to choose our perspective. I choose to be grateful. There are a lot of benefits that come from cultivating an attitude of gratitude.
I have come to realize that gratitude is cultivated and practiced rather than achieved and it has the power to change one’s life. There is a distinctive feeling associated with gratitude; a kind of awe, indescribable and beyond expression. When I am immersed in true gratitude it is one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had. It is so overwhelming it almost always brings me to tears.
Practicing gratitude and appreciation is probably one of the highest returns on investment of any action we can take. It costs us nothing and creates incredible energy and impact. Learning to be grateful helps to increase our well-being.
Being thankful has the power to transform us into different people. As we seek to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, our thinking will be transformed. This world tends to concentrate on the negative. Our tendency is to look for all the bad. But the way of Christ is to emphasize the positive. We are to look for the good in everything. And just as we can find the negative when we look for it, we can also find the positive when we look for it. Negativity steals my life energy and send anyone into doom and gloom and self-pity. Conversely, when I look at the positive I experience peace of mind and tranquillity.
There are and will still be days when we would rather not get out of bed, days where we don’t want to listen to the news, connect to social media, or even face the world. There are some days where I admit that I just feel annoyed with everything and everyone, but there are days when I get a little reminder that things could be worse. Some days I miss the seemingly little things, the blessings that God so intentionally sends my way. The problem with some of us is that we are mostly very quick to ask God for his help, but slow to offer thanks unto him for what he so generously provides us. The Bible puts it succinctly with its account of the 10 lepers in Luke 17:17-18.
We have all said, “I can’t wait until work is over,” or, “I wish it wasn’t raining,” and probably, “I wish I had a job where I made more money.” All of these are focusing on “lack.” But rather than complain about the things we think we deserve and lack, we can take a few moments to focus on all our blessings. Just try slowing down, spending time in God’s word, and reflecting on all that He’s done for us. Just making space to stop and reflect can make a big difference in our hearts.
Practicing an “attitude of gratitude” on a daily basis changes perspective of day to day issues and facilitates contentment and life satisfaction. When you focus on what you have instead of what you don’t, you are less likely to be depressed.
Lately I have been trying to write a post at least once a week, about the things I am grateful for. I find that I ALWAYS feel more content after I consciously do this.
The scripture is full of passages that instruct us to continually choose to practice an attitude of gratitude. ” In Psalm 100:4 we are instructed to enter God’s presence with thanksgiving and praise.
A day is not long enough to give thanks for all the blessings we receive from God, his blessings come daily. Psalm 68:19 says, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits….”
In 1 Thessalonians 5: 18, Paul urges the people to “thank God in all circumstances…”, not a suggestion, but a command. Paul is speaking about our state of mind, our general attitude in life. Really!!! Is Paul serious? Thank God in all circumstances, on all occasions, no matter what. What about when everything seems to be going wrong? In good times, it is easy to be thankful. But in bad times. No, it’s not easy. Yet Paul is absolutely serious. “No matter what happens” we must be thankful.
Practice being thankful every day, especially for what you have, and do not whine or complain about what you don’t have. If you feel frustrated or depressed, try working on gratitude. Feeling gratitude is an important practice that I have brought into my daily routine. I notice that it has improved my emotional well-being and general happiness. I am human and I still go through rough patches and times of mumbling, grumbling and complaining, but I am getting better at this gratitude thing.
Make it a habit to thank people as often as possible. With gratitude, the most difficult of days can be lit with joy and peace. Start a gratitude journal. Write down things you are grateful for throughout the day. Review your journal before going to bed at nights, then plan for a better tomorrow. You will be surprised at how your attitude and thinking will change positively and for the better.
Sometimes a quick reminder is all you need to bring you back to a place of thankfulness and abundance. I have sight, hearing, a comfortable bed to sleep, but would I have been thankful for these simple, taken for granted things if I were not writing this piece about gratitude? I doubt it.
I am thankful for the difficulties in my life. It is then when I feel most close and dependent on our Lord Jesus Christ. I can’t say I love the difficulties themselves though. I admit I am more a lover of comfort and pleasure but I am thankful for my struggles because they bring me closer to God.
Go ahead and let us make GRATITUDE a daily habit.
Heavenly Father, I ask you to develop an attitude of gratitude within me. Show me where I am defaulting to negativity and pride, and help me to choose gratitude in all circumstances. Amen.