We are moving into the season in the United States where we set a day aside to give thanks. It is an honorable thing for the entire nation to count its blessings. As beautiful as it is to have a national day of Thanksgiving, for the believer every day is a time to offer thanks.
You have noticed that some people seem thankful and others less grateful with more of an overall spirit of complaint. One way to remedy this is to develop a habit of gratitude and thankfulness. With all due respect to Stephen Covey, I would like to offer ‘Five Habits of Highly Grateful People.’
1. Highly grateful people understand that life is a gift. When starting from the vantage point of God’s love and grace, we then realize each day is a gift from God. My gift of life is not just exactly like your life. You and I have had ups and downs, heartache and disappointment. When all is said and done, I have been blessed. Oh, today that I could shout it from the rooftop, “I don’t deserve it but I have been blessed, and God is responsible.”
2. Highly grateful people are realists Having your mind and heart filled with thanksgiving to God does not deliver you from having questions, or shedding tears. Though I am thankful today for the blessings, I have received. I am mindful that far too many people today are hurting without hope and near the breaking point. I believe that a grateful person is in a better position to make a difference. When you understand the blessings that have come your way, you feel a ‘holy obligation’ to share God’s love and lend a hand and do what you can to be one of God’s blessings in the life of a hurting person.
3. Highly grateful people are joy carriers. Thankfulness and joy seem to be twins or at least excellent friends. For when you understand and experience gratitude almost immediately joy is one of the byproducts. Many are waiting for everything in their life to line up just right and become perfect and then and only then will they exude joy. Joy is not some far-off goal we are trying to achieve. Joy always shows up wherever grateful hearts are present. When you count your blessings, long before you have them all added together a sense of God’s joy fills the atmosphere. Regardless of what has happened in your life, you have something, many things for which to be grateful. When gratitude gets ahold of your heart, joy is just around the corner.
4. Highly grateful people are people-magnets. Given a choice between grateful folks and the ungrateful you will most likely want to hang out with the gratitude crowd. The conversation will be richer, the influence more positive, and the association more impactful, that and much more will be the benefits of hanging-out with grateful people. There is something so winsome about those who are continuously counting their blessing, which causes you to be drawn to them and makes you want to hang around them. You leave a conversation with them feeing better and more thankful.
5. Highly grateful people are constant learners. They never give up, and they never stop trusting, loving or giving. They understand the meaning of being a disciple. A disciple in plain terms is a ‘learner.’ Through life-long learning at the feet of Jesus, they have learned you can trust Him. You can trust Him with everything, in everything, and for everything. When you have discovered these lessons the result is GRATITUDE!!
As we gather with family and friends around our tables to celebrate Thanksgiving day, let us not forget the God who bestows blessings upon us, and let us commit to being grateful every day.