If you live in the United States, you are probably aware that tomorrow is the day we celebrate Thanksgiving. Now, I thought about writing a typical “I am thankful for…” post, but decided against it. I’ll save it for another day… When you are least expecting it, I’ll spring it on you! Haha! I am not, however, straying from that topic (thankfulness), because I think it is very valuable and I have a few thoughts I would like to share.
First of all, when you cultivate a lifestyle that is thankful and brimming with gratitude, chances are high that you will feel more fulfilled in life. I like to think that a happy heart is a thankful heart. This is very true in my own life and I have seen the positive effects of having a grateful heart, and also seen the negative effects of, well… Being negative.
I love what happens in my life when I am thankful. Really, it is cool! I start to notice different things that are so useful and convenient, which I do not usually take note of. My heart really does become happy and I feel more joy in my life. I believe true joy comes with a little thankfulness and a whole lot of Jesus. If certain situations it is not easy to give thanks, but it is possible. Are you living? Yes. Be thankful.
Second, thankfulness will draw others to you. What I mean is, people will like being around you because of your gracious presence. You will exude joy and peace, even if the situation is hectic and chaotic. That’s the thing about Christ… He can give you qualities in difficult circumstances that nobody else can provide. He can shower you with peace in a way that no one else can. This is a peace, a calm presence, that we cannot understand, but that we need to remind ourselves that it is possible! It says in Phillipians 4:7 that this peace will also “guard our hearts and minds” when we live according to God’s will (NLT). To me, this does not mean that we will be protected from all evil, all the time, but that His presence in our lives will allow us to be lights in dark times.
Lastly, with a thankful heart comes more fruits of the spirit. These are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). I definitely think these can be produced when we have more of an emphasis of gratitude in our lives. Don’t you want to be characterized by these traits? Wouldn’t that be nice if people thought we were like this? I know that I am not always living up to my Christ-like potential, but it is nice to know that there is something to strive for. What would life be without it?
Well, it’s not much, but that’s what I’ve got in my brain about thankfulness… I am challenging myself to stay thankful and not just on holidays!