I recently downloaded an app called Bliss, which simply prompts you to write three things you are grateful for every day. There are additional positive writing prompts in the app, but I have found that just cultivating a daily habit of gratitude has helped me keep my mind on what is important. Our world is so full of negativity and complaining that it is easy to get pulled down into those traps. Thankfulness brings an awareness of God and the gifts he has given rather than dwelling on our perceived lack.
Numerous studies have revealed positive effects of gratitude on emotional well-being and overall satisfaction with life. There is power in thinking about and even speaking aloud the truths about what is good in life. The Bible gives us wisdom in this area of thankfulness as well. Colossians 2:7 says,
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Just a chapter later in Colossians 3:15 Paul writes,
“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
During this week where those in our country have the word “thanksgiving” rolling off the tongue, don’t skip over the practice of gratitude. Even better, when you think about what you are thankful for, set a rule for yourself that you cannot list any material possessions. Rather ask questions like, “What work is God doing right now in and through me? How has he cultivated more of my heart this year? What people are closer to me now than ever before? What trials is he carrying me through?”
May you be spiritually and emotionally well as you fix your heart on God and develop a grateful spirit.