November 16, 2004
In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
-1 Thessalonians 5:18
I heard about an old lady who bowed her head at the table and she said out loud, “Thank you Lord for my vittles.”
Someone nearby said, “What on earth are vittles?”
She replied, “That’s the food that I eat and the blessings that I receive.”
The person responded, “Well, don’t you know that you’ll have that food whether you say thanks or not?”
The old woman replied, “Maybe so, but everything tastes better when I say thanks.”
This is the season of thanksgiving, and not should we celebrate it now, but all throughout the year. Life tastes better when we say thanks. Psychologists have discovered that the healthiest emotion of all is the emotion of thanksgiving and gratitude. Gratitude counteracts all and challenges all of those damaging and destructive emotions that come our way. I truly believe that it is an antidote for negative emotions like worry, anxiety, fear, failure, disappointment, and depression.
Beware, though, because there are some gratitude busters—those things that rob and steal our gratitude known as the thieves of thanksgiving:
· One is conceit. This is the attitude that says, “I deserve what I have. I have worked hard for everything I’ve got. I’m a self-made man or woman, and I did it!” The Bible says in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride comes before a fall…” And might I add, that pride comes before a great deal of disappointment. An ungrateful heart is generally very egotistical and arrogant.
· Second is a critical spirit. This type of spirit will destroy the attitude of gratitude by harping, complaining, criticizing, and being “grumbly hateful” rather than “humbly grateful.” A person who never gives thanks is a person who is never satisfied. It is someone who is self-centered and this person can always find a way to minimize your home, church, job, and more.
· Last is carelessness. This is when someone becomes accustomed to his or her blessings. If the stars only came out once a year, we’d all stay up all night to them. But because we can see them every night, we’ve become accustomed to them and many times forget their beauty and the galaxies above.
For this season and all throughout the year, don’t grumble because you don’t have what you want, be thankful that you didn’t get what you deserved. This is the attitude of gratitude: I don’t want what I deserve, because I’m grateful for the love, grace, and mercy of God.
“GRATITUDE PRODUCES MORE POSITIVE EMOTIONAL ENERGY THAN
ANY OTHER ATTITUDE IN YOUR LIFE.”
famous physician noted as the father
of human stress studies