4 Ways to Cultivate A Thankful Attitude
by Lynette Kittle
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Are there times in your life when because of your circumstances, you don’t feel like there is any reason to give thanks?
If so, you’re not alone, especially in a culture of comparisons and one-upmanship. Many people measure their success by their wealth, jobs, popularity, and possessions.
Yet Scripture explains how it is God’s will for you to be thankful in all circumstances, which means learning to be grateful despite your situation (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
So if you’re having trouble finding reasons to give thanks but want to follow God’s will for you life, how do you go about changing your outlook?
Below are four ways to cultivate a thankful attitude.
1. Present your concerns to God. Instead of focusing on where your present situation, Philippians 4:6 explains, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Instead of feeling stuck in your circumstances, turn to God and let go of the things weighing you down. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
2. Auto-correct your speech. Take time to listen to what you are saying. If you don’t like what you hear, revise your words. Ephesians 5:4 states, “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”
Choose to speak words of life rather than trying to mesh in with society’s standard of speech. When negative, sarcastic, or critical words come to mind to say or write, replace them with words of gratefulness.
3. Let God be your means of contentment, not your surroundings. Although the Apostle Paul spent much time in prison, because of his relationship with God, he learned to be content in whatever his circumstance (Philippians 4:11).
Like Paul, look to find your contentment in the faithfulness of God rather than your standing in society. As stated in Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
4. Live your life for God. Rather than focusing on you, decide to serve God in what you say and do. As Colossians 3:17 encourages, “And whatever you do, whether in words or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
As you seek to serve God, set your mind to seek Him as you go about your day. When you do, your outlook will be transformed. Although it will take time, effort, and consistency to redirect your attitude to be grateful in all situations, it will be worth it.
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, iBelieve.com, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.