Colossians 3:12–17 ‘And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ (v17)
Gratitude means gratefulness. Ask a Brit how they are, and they typically reply, ‘Can’t complain’, apparently disappointed! God encourages us to develop a gratitude reflex, giving thanks in all circumstances. It’s not just God.
Harvard Medical School reports, ‘In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Criticism blinds us to creative optimism, the ability to leave bad experiences behind.
Two simple words express gratitude – ‘Thank you’ – words always available to us. We thank the person administering communion to the person taking our coffee order. It’s a healthy habit to nurture.
Is such gratitude inauthentic? Not if it’s part of our commitment to brighten the world by expressing thanks aimed at improving social wellbeing. Like a muscle, gratitude strengthens the more we use it.
Perhaps it’s time to reinstate a prayer of thanks before meals. A chance to give thanks for those we eat with, as well as the food that strengthens us. Dropping a card in the post to someone who comes to mind through our day, encourages a positive gratitude attitude; and in this age of social media, who doesn’t enjoy a card through their letterbox?
Prayer also presents a tremendous way to express our thanks, carrying the needs of others in support of the battles they face. Most people are delighted to learn they are the recipients of prayer, grateful that they are seen and valued.
AN ACTION TO TAKE:
Bycock’s third phrase, ‘Thank you’, is one that is to be often on our lips.
What changes can you make to bless rather than complain and criticise?
It will improve your overall wellbeing.
A PRAYER TO MAKE:
‘Lord, help me to strengthen my gratitude muscle and develop a daily gratitude attitude. Amen.’
Photo by Miguel Bautista on Unsplash