We have so much to be thankful for, yet, our lifestyle causes us to be too rushed to pause and cultivate a heart of gratitude. We have packed so much activity into our schedules that we end up stressed and unable to see the beauty in our surroundings.
I have a mug of peach tea that I am sipping as I chat with you at my kitchen table. The sun is brightly shining through the woods outside the large bay window where I’m sitting. I hope you will grab a mug and get comfy as we talk about gratitude today.
I want gratitude to permeate my being until it is a lifestyle.
Gratitude: means to have thankfulness or gratefulness. In Latin, gratus means ‘pleasing or thankful.’ It is a feeling of appreciation felt when we are the recipient of kindness or a gift that is given.
Jesus Christ gave us this gift when He died on the cross for our sins.
Have you ever noticed how we are a generation that is socially connected yet rarely connects deeply?
Maybe this isn’t true for you.
Before you think we are more connected than other generations, let’s go back over one-hundred years before the internet was ever thought of.
Someone living in 1902 couldn’t Skype their friend on the other side of the world, nor send a text instantaneously from the east to the west coast. Technology is an amazing thing yet, for some reason, our ability to communicate has diminished.
People used to write epic letters with the most uniform handwriting. No typewriter or keyboard. They would share thoughts and experiences in the most beautiful way with those they loved.
That is unusual anymore!
Many people don’t even write a ‘Thank You’ note to show how grateful they are for a gift or service given them.
Ingratitude is when we don’t show appreciation for what someone has done for us. You might appreciate what your friend did for you, but not show it through an email, card, or even by verbally saying thanks.
When you were little, your parents probably taught you to say, “Thank you” automatically.
We grow up and those habits often rush out the back door!
It doesn’t take long for this seemingly insignificant omission to affect how we look at our life and surroundings.
When you begin to falter in your lack of thankfulness in the small things, our gratitude for the big things is forgotten.
Soon we have a lifestyle of ingratitude as we always see life as something to complain about.
Nothing is ever quite right.
- Not the food
- Not our day
- Not where we live
- Or where we work
- Or spend our time
5 Reasons You Want Gratitude as a Lifestyle
There is power in a grateful heart that heals depression, gives joy, and often even heals the body physically.
Complaining and ingratitude have a way of worming itself into our heart.
Gratitude isn’t something that will happen just because you write out 3 things you are thankful for each day. That is an exercise in mechanics which might help but it must go deeper than just writing those things on a page of a cute book.
I am sharing about something that I want to permeate your heart and every moment of your day.
- Gratitude gets our eyes off ourselves.
- Gratitude reminds us of Who is in control.
- Gratitude causes us to be thankful for the little things.
- A heart of gratitude leaves absolutely no room for complaining.
- Gratitude makes the enemy flee!
Most of all, gratitude opens the door for continued blessings.
If you gave a gift to someone and they never thanked you verbally or with a card, you might hesitate to bless them with a gift on another occasion.
Try being a person who exudes and exhibits Christian love – without gratitude – and over time your love will crash hard on sharp rocks of disappointment and disillusionment.
Try being a person who sacrificially gives of yourself – without the offering being accompanied by gratitude – and you’ll find every ounce of joy drained dry by a martyr complex.
True gratitude is not an incidental ingredient.
(Nancy Leigh DeMoss)
Gratitude is something we are often too busy to give.
Gratitude starts in our hearts and even as thoughts we think (or don’t think) and ends up often as something we never pause long enough to fit into our lifestyle.
When gratitude becomes the way we think both subconsciously and consciously, it will permeate into our lifestyle.
But . . .
Without being grateful to God for all that He has done through His son Jesus Christ, it will be hard to have the kind of gratitude that sinks down deep into our heart.
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.