I Am Grateful

Gratitude is the lens that helps us focus on the positive.

We often consider gratitude something we possess (have or don’t have), but I see it as a discipline we must practice — a way of seeing and living we must strive for.

Grateful people are positive people.

People who are grateful and practice gratitude regularly are significantly more positive than those who don’t. Read: Luke 17:11-19 (Jesus Heals Ten Lepers). Jesus’s encounter with this group of lepers reveals some key truths about how we express gratitude in our own lives and how that gratitude ultimately shapes our everyday experiences.

God often gets forgotten in the good times.

While you and I can easily see the glaring ingratitude of the lepers’ response, we’re often guilty of treating God the same way. We don’t have leprosy, but most of us do suffer from a condition called gratitude deficiency which is characterized by a tendency to forget God when life is going well. We must remember that the good things you enjoy (while often forgetting God) come from the Father. See James 1:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Grateful words reveal greater faith.

When you choose to express your gratitude to God you are exercising faith that God’s ways are bigger than your own and that he is ultimately in control of every facet of your life. As a result, you open yourself up to seeing and receiving even more of God’s goodness. You won’t miss the things he does, because you’ll be on the lookout for them. And each time he blesses you, your faith will grow even more.

Grateful words lead to additional blessings.

When the one grateful leper came back to say thank you to Jesus, he received a blessing the other nine lepers didn’t receive (Luke 17:19). This doesn’t refer to the physical healing from leprosy but to an additional healing—a spiritual healing.  In the same way, when you give God credit for what’s happening in your life, he is going to bless you spiritually by drawing you closer to him. He will make you more aware of his day-to-day presence, and he will give you deeper glimpses into how he is working through the people and events around you. Gratitude is also the key that often unlocks other positive characteristics in your life.

Gratitude turns every blessing I have into praise.

Praise is important because it reestablishes our relationship with God on its proper terms. We appreciate his activity in our lives. Praise provides a cleansing of attitudes that life often implants in our hearts. It allows us to recount God’s goodness. See Psalm 9:1-2.

Gratitude is learned by being thankful for what is, not obsessing over what is not.

I will not let what I want rob me of what I have. We all have a tendency to overlook the joy in everyday life because we are so focused on the weekend, next month’s vacation, our next relationship, our next promotion, or whatever we think will finally make us content.  Harnessing the creative force of your words through directed action is the single best way to cultivate a mind-set that positively influences every aspect of your life. You can begin intentionally incorporating words of gratitude into everyday speech by taking some practical action steps: • Begin your day with gratefulness. • Remove all complaints from your life. • Be quick to say “Thank You.”

• Learn to live every day in a state of present joy.

Gratitude is the lens that helps us focus on the positive

Do you want to stay positive…especially during this season of Thanksgiving?  See Psalm 118:29.