SCRIPTURE: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – I Thessalonians 5:16-18 – NKJ
One of the most effective practices that have improved my life is expressing gratitude daily. Oprah, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and other inspirational writers have done a great service by promoting gratitude and thankfulness. But of course, they were not the first. Giving thanks to the Lord is a foundational “kingdom” principle. I pondered the difference between being content, being grateful, and offering praise. It seems to me they represent a successive range of attitude choices. Contentment is the beginning, where you stop wanting more. Gratitude is a higher attitude where you express appreciation for what you have or experience. Praise is an even higher attitude where you acknowledge God as the source of all things for which you are grateful.
Counting your blessings puts a smile on your face, because your brain cannot simultaneously dwell on the negative and the good. Yet, how often is this simple choice of attitude forgotten as a great tool for abundant daily living. It is being thankful for the little things that many people overlook. Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, was truly transforming for me. As this week’s scripture advises, I managed to count a few not so pleasant experiences among my gifts. I take notice of my blessings and simple pleasures everyday, because it improves the quality of my thinking instantly, and saves me from wasting seconds, minutes, or hours in discontent. I will often stand in the shower and say to myself “I am grateful for hot water. I am grateful for a private shower.” I will go for a run or practice yoga and say to myself “I am thankful for my strong muscles and bones that allow me pain-free freedom of movement.” I look at my three children and I say to myself “I am grateful for people who love me, care for me, and simply bring me joy.”
Experience abundance any time you like, and often, simply by counting your blessings and giving thanks. This is the will of God.
“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” – Joni Mitchell
A.S.K. (the Higher Choices Process)
Ask – questions to discover the direction God would suggest you take.
|1. What conveniences of life are you taking for granted?|
|2. Are there people in your life who need to receive an expression of gratitude from you?|
|3. Are you experiencing abundance as you practice gratitude this week?|
|Seek – ideas on choices that will take you further along your higher path.|
|Knock – truth embraced through practice and persistence; abiding.|