Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gratitude Can Change Your Life

Have you felt thankful recently? Have you said ‘thank you’ lately? When was the last time you wrote the words ‘thank you’ to someone?

I think gratitude is one of our most neglected virtues. Maybe all of the advertising we see that tries to convince us there are a multitude of things we are missing makes us focus on what we don't have rather that seeing what we do have.

Here is a question: Does gratitude start in the heart or do we create it by expressing thankfulness? In either case I know it is strengthened when we focus on it.

How about in marriage? So much damage comes from focusing on a spouse's imperfections rather than seeing their good qualities. A good tip: Praise is a better motivator towards good behavior than nagging. (Note to self!)

I have found that formalizing my gratitude does something that fleeting thoughts can't. It cements the thought in my mind and makes it stronger than the grumbling voice that is always droning on.

Try to make the words ‘thank you’ a regular part of your vocabulary. When someone hands you your coffee or food or some other purchase, express thankfulness. That is a small but easy starting place. Look for other opportunities. Say it with a smile and let it settle in your heart where it will bring change.

How about writing it down? It may be for you in the form of a journal or for someone else in the form of a note. I think one of the most powerful things we can give or receive is a hand written personal note. Try that right now.  It doesn't have to be a fancy note card. Any piece of paper will do. Just express thanks to someone in a way that shows you really mean it. It will change you and bless them.

And most of all, give thanks to God. everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18


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