Time to Practice Gratitude



Memorial Day GratitudeIt is God’s will that in everything, we give thanks.  It is not God’s will that we express gratitude for “gratitude’s sake only” but because with the giving of thanks, His power can be released into our life in ways never before seen.  This includes the formation of incredible joy, unshakeable hope, and unbroken peace (1 Pet. 1:2-4).  The outward expression of appreciation to God and others, works to bring new power and access that, under other circumstances, would be unattainable.

In his letters to the early church and ministry, the Apostle Paul lavishly expressed gratitude to those he wrote to for their role in both receiving the Gospel and in extending God’s “hope of salvation” to others within their immediate sphere of influence.  Paul was well acquainted with the power of gratitude (Ep. 1:15-19; Phil. 1:3-4).

According to the Greek writer and philosopher, Cicero, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.” Because gratitude is critical to not only individuals but also to the health of society in general, new focus is being placed on how to increase its occurrence.  Recent studies in the area of psychology confirm that we can intentionally cultivate gratitude with the consequence being increased well-being, joy and happiness. In addition, gratefulness, especially expression of it to others, is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.  The positive psychology movement has embraced these studies and in an effort to increase overall well-being, has begun to make an effort to incorporate exercises to increase gratitude into the movement.[1]

Kim Specker, life coach and founder of RAREtransformation, has this to share about the benefits of gratitude:

Recently I heard of a gentleman who ended his third marriage, his business was floundering and his children displeased with him.  To help him make the shift from negativity to positive emotions, someone suggested that he write one note of gratitude daily.  The note could be sent to family, friends, co-workers, clients, vendors or people who had made a difference in his lifetime. The experiment results were astounding.  This gentleman couldn’t believe his 15 minute a day exercise literally changed his life.  He experienced greater positivity in his life, better relationships with his children as well as an increase in his business profits.

As we examine our walk of faith, we must ask ourselves, “Does the world see God through my expressions of gratitude?”  Is my thankfulness “contagious” to those around me?  Am I receiving the power and benefits of gratitude that are now available to me?  If you answered “no” to any of these questions, I invite you to join Kim Specker as she shares how to tap into your “Gratitude Power”.  Click here to begin your journey of transformation.  

Good to the Last Byte…

In the New Testament, gratitude and appreciation expressed in thanksgiving, has three primary associations.  The first, thanks is given at the communion service (Eucharist) for the broken body and blood of Jesus (Matt. 26; Lk 22; 1 Cor. 11); the second time, thanks is given for the blessings that come through Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 2:14; 9:15) and finally, thanks is given for those who come to know Christ and who bring joy to the Apostle Paul (Col. 1:3; Eph. 1:16).   However, let us remember to give thanks in everything and at all times.

[1] Wikipedia, “Gratitude”.