“What’s the point?” is a question I’ve asked myself over and over again when thinking about posting on the topic of thankfulness every day in November. I’ve really wrestled about starting this new series, which seems silly because encouraging thankfulness in myself and others seems like a no-brainer. I keep trying to talk myself out of this series, telling myself that it’s not necessary or it can be saved for another time, but I just can’t get away from it. None of my silly, trivial, or valid excuses seem to be able to cut it; thankfulness is important and vital to a healthy life and world-view.
Various studies have been done by people much smarter than I am that show the consistent act of gratitude positively affects not just a person’s mental and emotional health, but can positively impact the body’s physical systems and interpersonal relationships. Just think about it! When you’re in a bad mood, it’s safe to assume you’re not feeling well physically and people tend to scatter when you come around, especially if a grumpy disposition your typical M.O. But, if your life is characterized by thankfulness, people will likely flock to you and even if you are suffering from an ailment, you’ll be less likely to focus on it because you’re seeing other things to be grateful for.
I believe, in addition to the physical benefits we can receive, a thankful attitude is attractive to God and a heart posture he desires his kids to exhibit. In the spirit of practicing thankfulness and humility, each post will end with a short prayer following this model:
Notice that we’re not at the center of this type of prayer: God is. When we take the focus off of ourselves and put it onto God where it belongs, thankfulness will be a natural by-product. You can’t continue to be ungrateful when you’ve intentionally focused on the goodness of God.
I hope you join me in this journey of strengthening our thankfulness muscle. I look forward to seeing all God does in and through you over the next 30 days!
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