The decision to live a life of gratitude is immensely rewarding and a choice we must make daily. It goes beyond being optimistic and confers the responsibility of looking at what we have so we can count our many blessings. In expressing gratitude, both the one who expresses and the recipient are refreshed.
Gratitude ushers us into the presence of God (Psalms 100:4; 22:4). An atmosphere of gratitude is conducive for miracles (John 11:42, Mark 6:41). Gratitude obeys the law of sowing and reaping .The more gratitude we sow, the more we are likely to see more to be grateful for or be given more to be grateful for. The leper who returned to give thanks was not just healed but made whole (Luke 17:11-18).
Secondly, it is safe to also say that gratitude serves as the platform from which we can make further requests (Philippians 4:6). Most times unfortunately like the Israelites, what was once a miracle soon becomes the reason for complaining (Exodus 16:11-16; Numbers 11:6). There is no need to ask God for more if we are not grateful for what we presently have.
Thirdly, gratitude keeps discouragement at bay (Psalms 42:5). It reminds us of the goodness of God, engages our trust in his abilities and averts despair (Psalms 27:13). Living a life of gratitude reduces stress, especially from unnecessary competition or envy (2 Corinthians 10:12). The spirit of covetousness is usually halted by gratitude. It is a sure forerunner of peace (Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 3:15).
Fourthly, gratitude enhances our relationship with others. People feel appreciated and receive a boost to their self-esteem when we express gratitude. This not only puts them at ease but makes us more attractive and sociable. Sometimes a compliment is all it takes to turn a stranger into a friend (Ruth 3:11; 1 Samuel 25:28). As we recognize the contributions of others, we are kept from pride and hence afforded the boon of being humble. God resists the proud (James 4:6) and people are not generally willing to do more for the person who loves to take all the credit.
Finally, a life of gratitude ensures we are not robbed of the beauty of the present. Being set free by it, we can enjoy the now without being stuck in the “good old days” or an “anticipated future" (Psalms 118:24).Life’s frustrations are more bearable with an attitude of gratitude.
Gratitude is a seasoning. It permeates all aspects of our lives. Nothing enriches our lives or relationships like a grateful spirit. Memories become pleasant when filled with gratitude. We should be grateful for both the spectacular and the seemingly ordinary. If we cultivate and nurture this attitude, we will be recipients of its multi-faceted benefits.
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