Monday, November 5, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude

"You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
 you are my God, and I will exalt you.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
His love endures forever."
Psalm 118: 28-29
What were your first thoughts this morning? What were your first spoken words? Did you wake up with an attitude of gratitude?
Recently, the Holy Spirit convicted me of the sins of complaining and ingratitude. According to 1 Thess. 5: 18, it is God's will that I give him thanks in all circumstances. The Bible also says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. " Phil. 4: 6.
Dr. Robert Emmons is an expert in the psychology of gratitude. He has spent years studyng the effects gratitude has on a person, and has also authored several books. Having a grateful attitude is linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life, and kinder behavior toward others.*
I encourage you to keep a "Gratitude Journal" for the next 21 days. Let's give thanks every day for the specific blessings of EACH DAY!
These tips help as I count and record my blessings:
  1. List 3-5 things for which you're thankful every day. Try not to repeat.
  2. Be brief. Write one sentence or one word.
  3. Be specific. Record exactly why you are grateful.
  4. Turn negatives into positives. 1 Thess. 5:18 exhorts us to be thankful in all circumstances.
  5. Be intentional. Look for things for which to be thankful. Phil. 4: 8 says, "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such things."
  6. Spend time in praise and thanksgiving. Don't just make a list. Be obedient to the Lord, and give Him thanks!
Our God is good! His love never fails! Let's develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks to the One who is worthy!
*Source: "A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day" John Tierney (Nov. 11, 2011)

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