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Gratitude is the thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible; it is an acknowledgment of the goodness in our lives. At its simplest it is thanks and appreciation. We often use November as our “gratitude month” as it moves toward Thanksgiving, the day many people give thanks for the blessings, joys, and good food of the day and year. Gratitude though, is something disciples of Jesus Christ are encouraged to recognize daily. Use each day to give thanks for the gift of God’s grace, for daily needs being met, for simple and profound joys, even in sorrow and trouble. Studies show that living in an “attitude of gratitude” increases well-being, health, builds stronger relationships, and helps us deal with adversity. Giving thanks is a spiritual discipline, one that takes some practice.
How does one develop an attitude of gratitude? Taking time each day or week to reflect on those things for which we are grateful—appreciate, are thankful for, received as good. Writing down these things, some use the number 3 as a tool, 3 Gratitudes, 3 Good Things, 3 Positives, are ways I’ve heard them expressed. My list recently included the butterflies and moths flitting around my butterfly bush, the wonderful take out meal we enjoyed Sunday evening, and my parents help with a project. Simple, yet important to stop and acknowledge. As I write them down, I give thanks to God, the creator and redeemer of all.
October is a good month to turn our hearts to God in gratitude, practicing our spiritual discipline, and allowing God’s Spirit to work in us. In our sermons this month, we will look at the “Enemies of Gratitude” and what often works to keep us living less than grateful lives. Tune in each Sunday of October and use the week to reflect how you can have an attitude of gratitude.
In Gratitude for ministry together,