Recent studies have shown that practicing gratitude leads to a healthier, more fulfilling, others-centered life. People who focus on what they are thankful for (versus those who dwell on hassles and frustrations) are in a better place than those who don't. They are less likely to get sick and are more active, hopeful, and thoughtful of other people.
God desires that those who follow Him exhibit a grateful heart. For example, the Psalms tell us, "It is good to give thanks to the Lord" (Psalm 92:1). In the New Testament, Paul encouraged his fellow Christians to be "thankful in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Could it be that one of the reasons the pages of Scripture lift up the importance of thankfulness is for the mutual benefit of others and us? It definitely appears that way! Apparently, being thankful is better for all concerned. In the end, gratitude produces enriched people who want to spread the love and joy of God to others.
Don't misunderstand. Incorporating gratitude into our lives is not about walking around with a cheesy grin on our face, denying the heartaches or injustices of life. We don't have to sacrifice reality to be grateful. We simply need to adopt a gratitude focus that affects every moment of each day (Ephesians 5:20).
Like everything else in life that's meaningful, practicing gratefulness takes work. For some who have a habit of focusing on the negative, it may take a lot of effort to change their tune. But everyone is capable of being thankful. And when we live it out, we are showing the world that our awesome God is worthy of all our praise and thanks (Psalm 75:1). He is glorified and others are blessed by our gratitude attitude.
Give gratitude a shot. It will change how you view God, others, and yourself. , Jeff Olson, Our Daily Journey
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