By Barbara Bryant
Last month, I went to dinner with a friend. Since it was my suggestion to have dinner, I thought it would be appropriate for me to pay the bill. When I paid the bill at the end of the meal, he said, "You should have," instead of saying "thank you."
My immediate thought was, "How rude." His response motivated me to study gratitude because I never want to fall short of being consciously grateful when kindness is extended to me. I want a profound sense of gratitude to flow through me unhindered at all times.Gratitude is more than a feeling. It requires a willingness to recognize that you have been the beneficiary of someone's kindness. Gratitude is a good thing. It opens our eyes to the abundant blessings all around us, and makes us aware of even the smallest things over which we can rejoice. It increases our ability to appreciate both people and things.Consider this, if you will: there is probably nothing that makes a person more unattractive than the absence of a grateful spirit. A lack of gratitude offers little to rejoice about. Therefore, everyday, I am grateful.I am grateful that I am in good health. I am grateful for my family. I have two wonderful sons, age thirteen and twenty-two, whom I love on purpose. I am so thankful for the genuine love I receive from them.I am grateful for my local church. I have a Pastor and First Lady who go beyond the norm to communicate caring and to create a truly remarkable and impactful worship experience for the membership.I am grateful for my mistakes because they help shape me into a stronger person and allow me to gain knowledge and wisdom I didn't have before.I am grateful for my enemies. Their deeds help me to realize how blessed I am. Matthew 5:10 says, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake..."I am grateful for my career that produces income to pay tithes to support kingdom purpose; and to pay all of my living and household expenses.I am grateful for my ministry, in which God has sustained me for so long, and for a sound mind from which springs a grateful heart. And the list goes on...
As we approach the Thanksgiving season, where does gratitude rank on your list of Christian values? I believe that a grateful spirit is very important to God.
Psalms 188:1 says, "Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good." First Thessalonians 5:18 says: "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."My friend, gratitude should be a prescription for life. When you express gratitude, you become more grateful. I pray that gratefulness will become your basic attitude toward life because gratitude promotes harmony, peace and joy.