Even though being thankful for our many blessings is the best state of mind in which to function, sometimes it just isn’t easy. We get our feelings hurt. People disappoint us. Bills come flooding in. We get sick. How can we be expected to be thankful during those times?
The Bible instructs us, “In everything give thanks.”
The most important thing in being thankful is that it shapes our outlook on life. If we condition ourselves to be thankful for all of life’s good things, we will not drown in the bad things. It is a powerful ability to look at a bad situation and not be blinded by it.
If we allow ourselves to focus on the bad or the hard situations all the time, those things will obstruct our view of the hope that comes with tomorrow. Dwelling on the bad things and difficulties in life will totally drain us of our energy, our mental and physical health, and make life a drudgery.
We can waste a lot of energy thinking, dreaming, or even complaining about what we do not have rather than being thankful for all that is already ours, and/or praying about the things that we may actually need or desire. “Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.” ― Thomas Goodwin
“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.” ― Marcus Aurelius
There is a philosophy in the world that our attitude in life attracts things to us. If we are angry all the time, others will be angry with us. If we are kind, we will attract kindness. If we are creative, we will attract creative ideas. If we complain about being sick all the time, we will attract sickness. And if we have an attitude of gratitude, we will attract good things.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” ― Oprah Winfrey
“If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” – Frank A. Clark
“People complain about the bad things that happen to them that they don’t deserve, but they seldom mention the good they don’t deserve.” – Cormac McCarthy
“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” ― H.A. Ironside
In the Bible, it is known as the principal of sewing and reaping. We reap what we sew. Anger begets anger. Love begets more love. Thankfulness begets more things for which to be thankful.
“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” ― John Henry Jowett
There is a young man I’ve seen on Christian television doing interviews several times who is totally amazing. His challenges are many, but his attitude is inspiring. “Often people ask how I manage to be happy despite having no arms and no legs. The quick answer is that I have a choice. I can be angry about not having limbs, or I can be thankful that I have a purpose. I chose gratitude.” – Nick Vujicic
Let us choose gratitude always, and in this season of thanksgiving take time out to truly think about our countless blessings.
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.