Take a moment to look from where you are and consider the state of your marriage, finances, health, children, and so on. Next, compare where your life with someone else’s. It doesn’t have to be a person you know. It could be the world news, a co-worker, someone you drove by, or walked passed today or among other things. I’m sure by now you could find 10000 reasons why you should be grateful.
Lately, I have struggled with people who can’t seem to find anything good to say about anybody or anything. Specifically, I’ve been perturbed with people complaining about the smallest things–the lines are too long, the prices are too high, the gas is rising again, the wait is too long.
Not only–but also, if the opportunity became available, I address the issue of ungratefulness.
Of course, I’m not addressing individuals in the stores, at the doctor’s office, or waiting in line. I have been addressing individuals that are in my inner circle, asking them a couple of questions to help me navigate through the conversation that I want to have with them about ungratefulness.
Those individuals were asked (as I’ve asked you) to look from where they are to consider what could be worse?
These questions were posed:
What is the worse thing that has happened to you over the past few months and could it be worse?
If the above-mentioned situation didn’t work out the way you plan, do you still have a reason to be grateful?
In my opinion, ungratefulness is contagious. The more that we allow it to enter our space; it becomes normal a way of getting along with each other. The learned behavior eventually becomes the way we communicate and the way that we’ll teach others to communicate with us.
Ungratefulness is learned.
To clarity, I personally think it’s important to be intentional about showing gratitude every day. It’s a practice. You have to re-train your mind to think on things that are lovely, pure, and of a good report. If not, those old habits will repeat themselves.
For example, we all look forward to sharing annual celebrations each year with our family. During those times, we look back on the years of memories and celebrate the big and small things that have made us grateful for family. The laughter and the tears of joy are the significant components that bring us the most gratitude.
Do you agree?
On the other hand, if we need to live our lives looking for ways to demonstrate gratitude more consistently–rather than at annual meals, family reunions, weddings, and baby showers. The absence of sharing what we’re grateful for is setting us up for failure later on.
I know that may sound a little extreme, but think about it. When you don’t practice gratitude–you feel as though someone owes you something. When in fact, no one owes you anything. We find reasons to be ungrateful.
“Be thankful for everything that happens in your life; it’s all an experience.” ― Roy T. Bennett
To point out, Christians should be grateful at all times. It’s something that should be automatic. Gratefulness is not scripted, practiced nor placed on a calendar to remember. It’s in the heart upon receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
Gratefulness comes when we recognize the condition we were in before salvation and some of those situations are just downright scary to think about it. So the peace that we’ve received was more than we deserved.
Remember, I asked you to look from where you are?
Before salvation, we were “all men most miserable.” I Corinthians 15:19 “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” In other words, we didn’t just become a friend of God to have peace in this present life, but we want peace in the life to come.”
That is to say, we should be grateful for the life that we can currently live freely in the flesh. It’s purposeful, intentional, and without reservation.
Although gratefulness is automatic and can’t be scheduled.
I believe that it’s seasoned through experiences.
For example, being a born again believer, I remember my experience at the altar when I received Jesus Christ as my Savior.
And, I didn’t know everything there was to know about Jesus Christ. I just knew His presence flooded my soul. At that very moment, I was grateful.
My gratefulness is simple. I received Jesus!
Now over 30 years later, I can still can’t explain my gratefulness. It’s too complex for me.
However, in a nutshell, my being grateful came from going through some rough-tough kinda stuff.
That’s. what. life. gives. us. Rough-tough kinda stuff.
But, if you have experienced any rough-tough kinda stuff, I am happy for you. Keep living. Your turn will come.
One of my rough-tough stuff situations was filtering through a health condition I struggled with for years.
Almost 9 years ago, I was having a lot of issues with my gall bladder. I had gone to two doctors and neither doctor could find anything wrong after conducting several tests.
In short, I continued to sweat profusely. The problem was so embarrassing during presentations, board meetings, and meeting with professionals; I developed a love for all black to hide the spurts of sweats I would have throughout the day.
I was fed up!
One day, sitting in front of my computer, I asked God to guide me to a doctor that could make a prognosis and provide me with ways I could become healthy.
Afterward, I prayed and went online and God led me to a gastroenterologist.
Consequently, upon walking in, explaining my issues, He said, “Well, relax you don’t have cancer. You have a gut disease that’s causing you a lot of pain, bloating and spasms.”
Whew! This girl was some kind of grateful!
He said, “I’m going to give you two prescriptions to take and you’ll see me in 3 weeks.”
Upon seeing him after 3 weeks, the sweating, bloating, spasms, and the pain was almost none. He continued to share a little more information about my diagnosis and gave me a pamphlet to read for more understanding.
It’s important to mention. Before going to this new doctor, I had lost so much weight. I was down to a single digit in pants size. In short, I could barely eat anything. So I resorted to lite plates throughout the day to minimize the pain. My lite plates contained cheese and crackers, fruit and vegetables, yogurt, peanuts, and a few other things.
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” —Anthony Robbins
Unbeknownst to me, this painful medical condition had pushed me into being a full-blown practicing vegetarian for about 2 years.
Believe me. It wasn’t my first style of eating, but I was trying to survive.
But, the first thing I asked my doctor about during my return visit was eating meat again.
Quite frankly, it didn’t go as well as I had thought.
Simply put, he said, that may be your best option because “your gall bladder is quite sensitive so any greasy, spicy…is going to further compound your prognosis.”
It wasn’t want I wanted to hear. Although I can’t eat meat, I am grateful for life on a whole new level.
Remember, when I said…”You really can’t explain gratefulness. You just know that you’re grateful.” Well! It’s encounters like these that help us to process our gratefulness.
I’m grateful because as I look back from where I am today. My situation could have been a lot worse.
God heard my prayers and sent a doctor to help me get through what my body was being attacked with.
In conclusion, I’m persuaded the time we spend with God and learning who He is, helps to be grateful. Every challenge or trial that we face, it brings us closer to knowing God as a friend. He wants to know us and we should desire to know Him.
Genesis 3:8, In the Garden of Eden, “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
God has always desired to talk with man no matter what our situation is. We just have to believe that God desires a relationship with us. Friends talk all the time. As we love our friends, we desire to talk with them, we desire their best and not their worse, and above all, we want to remain close to them in communication.
It’s the same principle with God. He wants to talk to us. Grateful!
One of my friends on Facebook posted–“I love my friends! …I bet you love your friends, too huh?? I know y’all know where I’m going with this! Lol… Being friends with Jesus & His father, Jehovah God, are two of the best friendships we could ever have! …When we decided to accept Jesus’ invitation to become friends with him, we set ourselves up to receive many blessings!…his love & support right now to name a couple of things…
We are also given the opportunity to live forever!…but the BEST part of it all is that being friends with Jesus opens up the most awesome treasure of all… an up-close & personal relationship with his father, Jehovah!! We can DEFINITELY count it an honor & privilege to be called a friend of Jesus!!
I Have Called You Friends” John 15:15
Happy Sunday, Friends.
Finally, if you’re not grateful, it’s time to examine your heart because ungratefulness is merely an attitude. And many times we don’t receive God’s best because we are so ungrateful about who we are sharing our lives with and what we have.
Also, our ungratefulness can come from “looking from where we are” and desiring the life of someone else. Gosh! What a life of misery because we’ll never catch up with what they have.
I’ve been in a marriage for almost 35 years and as I’ve counseled other women with their relationships. They often compare my marriage to their relationship (whether married or not). Humph! They didn’t have a clue about the pain my spouse and me suffered to get to this point. Truly, they were looking from where they are. Believing we got to our place overnight.
Boy, It had to be a long night. You think?
Keep in mind, when we’re ungrateful, our perception will always be flawed.
Of course, my prayer for you–It is for you to ask God to help you see things from where you are. And to help you see where you’re standing, you didn’t get there by yourself.
God’s grace and His love for you have been intentional. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will be with you until the end of time.
Every Good Thing Comes From God
“Reflect upon your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” —Charles Dickens
But do your words and attitudes agree with it? One way to find out is to ask, others if your life demonstrates gratefulness and God is the provider of everything good in your life? People will see it.
Try this exercise whenever you need to strengthen your gratitude perspective. Think of something or someone good you have in your life. Now, work backward until you find God as the source of the good.
Realizing that God is the source of all good and that good comes with many benefits. Not only do we become more grateful, but we recognize we have less anxiety about loss because God is providing all things for us that are good.
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:14–15).
10,000 Reasons We Should Be Grateful
Keep a Gratitude Journal.
This may seem a little matter of fact. It’s not. I have used a gratitude journal for years. And, I simply love it. I’m more gratified by what God has done when I look back over the months and years He has spared my life and has protected me.
Establish a daily practice to help remind you of God’s gifts, grace, benefits, and the good things you enjoy. Setting aside time daily to recall moments of gratitude associated with events, matters on your job, the value you appreciate in other people and family. There are so many gratitude opportunities we miss throughout the day. Write them down to help you capture them.
Remember the Bad.
To be grateful in your current state, it is helpful to remember the hard times “rough-tough kinda stuff” that you once experienced. When you remember how difficult life was then, you’ll be able to use it to measure how far you have come, while cultivating fertile ground for gratefulness.
Learn Scriptures and Prayers of Gratitude.
In many spiritual traditions, prayers of gratitude are considered to be the most powerful form of prayer, because through these prayers people recognize the ultimate source of all they are and all they will ever be. If you are unsure where to find prayers of gratitude, reference these scriptures to get you started:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Ps. 103:1-5
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5:18
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Ps. 107:1
“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Eph. 5:20
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.” Ps. 28:7
Use Visual Reminders.
For me, posting scriptures in high-traffic areas of the house reminds me to be grateful. These visual cues are triggers of my thoughts of gratitude toward God. What I post also depends on what I’m facing at that moment. It’s important to change them at times. You don’t want this to become an out of sight-out-of-mind kinda thing.
Make a Vow to Practice Gratitude.
Research shows that making an oath to perform a behavior increases the likelihood that the action will be executed. Therefore, write your gratitude vows, which could be as simple as “I vow to be grateful every day for the next 30 days.” and post it somewhere where you will be reminded of it every day.
This may seem simple. Nonetheless, think about the people that would love to be wearing your shoes at this very moment. See, that’s gratitude.
Watch your Language.
Grateful people have a particular style of language they use to demonstrate their gratefulness: gifts, givers, blessings, blessed, fortune, fortunate, and abundance. In gratitude, you should not focus on how inherently good you are, but rather on the good things that others have done on your behalf.
People don’t just do good things for each other. Remember, every good thing comes from God. Thank God He places us on the heart of His people.
Go Through the Motions.
If you are grateful, it will show through smiling, saying thank you, and writing letters of gratitude to others. Gratitude is contagious. So share it with someone.
A Prayer for Gratitude
Thank you for your amazing power and the great work you are doing through our lives. You load us daily with your goodness and your blessings that overflow over lives. Thank you for allowing us to be grateful amid our toughest times.
For we know that you are strengthening us for your divine purposes. Thank you for your great love and grace and your mercy you extend to us daily. We’re grateful because you are always with us and will never leave us alone. Thank you for your incredible sacrifice, so that we might have freedom and life.
Forgive us for when we don’t thank you enough, for not recognizing you are enough, and for all that you have sustained in our lives. We are fully aware that we can do nothing without you. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on you afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with your peace and joy. We love you and we need you, this day and every day. We give you praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy!
In Jesus’ Name,
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