As we enter the season of thanksgiving. I can’t help but wonder why it’s only once a year that gratitude becomes a focus. We have so much to be grateful for, so much that we take for granted, breathing for example.
My mother always had lung problems. I cannot remember a time when she did not struggle to take a good deep breath. I wake up every morning and thank God that I can take a deep unencumbered breath. It’s a simple thing, but so important.
As Christian speakers and writers, we have a responsibility to be grateful. Yes, you heard me right, a responsibility.
As those called by the Lord, we have been given the privilege to share the message that dwells within each of us with the world. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this in his letter to the church in Colossae.
However, gratitude does not always come easy, even for Christian communicators. When we are in the midst of life’s trials we can quickly stumble and turn to complaining and questioning God. An attitude of gratitude will guard us against this behavior.
How do we cultivate an attitude of gratitude?
The word praise appears 363 times in the Bible. Perhaps God is trying to make a point. He looks forward to our praise. In fact, He longs for it. He doesn’t need it, He wants it. Our praise opens the door of His heart and helps establish an intimate relationship with Him.
When you pray to do start with your laundry list, telling God of your wants and needs, or do you start with worship and adoration? As a child I was taught a simple acrostic to help me pray. Maybe you know this, too. ACTS: adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. I don’t think it is any accident that supplication (asking) came last on the list. When we start our prayers with praise and adoration we fertilize the soil of our prayers.
How often do you speak words of appreciation? The more often you say, “Thank you” the more likely it becomes natural to you. These are words people need to hear. Your spouse, your children, co-workers, service personnel, the checker at Walmart.
When was the last time you wrote a “thank you” note? Our church staff have established a practice of writing notes of appreciation to our church members every Tuesday following staff meeting. Every Sunday I hear from people that received our notes. It means a lot to them to be recognized, even in such a simple way.
When we are intentional about cultivating an attitude of gratitude in our lives, God will be intentional about blessing us in new and exciting ways. He will open new doors and provide unexpected opportunities.
The Scripture tells us that “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. If as Christian communicators our hearts are filled with thanksgiving and praise, it is a certainty that this very attitude of gratitude will come flowing forth and with it we will become living examples of Christ at work in us and through us.