I asked my granddaughter the other day two things she could do to please Jesus. She responded, be kind to my friends and share, to name a few. These are honorable virtues— kindness and generosity. Not bad for a seven-year-old.
I would venture to say if I asked you your top two desirable virtues you’d say (along with me), be a person of character or faithfulness, or something similar. Great answers again. But how many of us would say one of our primary virtues to exercise is gratitude? Many might think that being a thankful person is noteworthy, but it’s not that big of a deal. Or is it?
I committed to a season of intentional gratitude to find out. And guess what? I’m stunned by the results! I’m discovering gratitude is much more than a second-tier virtue; it’s vital to every single corner of my life in living well. There’s a reason the Bible instructs us over and over to be thankful people. It points to a secret so many of us miss because we’re too easily controlled by our circumstances (me included at times). Some say, how can I be grateful when I’m not or I just don’t feel like it? But gratitude isn’t always an emotional issue. It’s first and foremost an action, a choice. It’s a life-changer like none other.
Choosing gratitude is opening my heart to delightful discoveries. I simply must share my three favorite.
l. Being grateful unlocks the door to God’s nearness. When I used to pray, I’d start asking God to do things for me. I’m learning the beauty of Psalms 100:4 –Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and his gates with praise. Adoration for the goodness of God ushers His presence right into the center of my realm.
2. Being grateful takes the sting out of unsettledness. If you’re waiting for life to finally eliminate worries, it will never happen. So why not put yourself in a position to rise above the waves of emotional turmoil. Philippians 4:6-7 promises that inner peace and rest follow a thankful heart.
3. Being grateful makes one attractive to the outside world. I bet you desire to be a remarkable model to your children. Years from now, what will they remember? Was their mom grateful or grumpy? When you choose to focus on God’s promises, you can’t help but emit a pleasant disposition that wants to share this joy. Psalm 9:1 declares– I will give thanks to you, LORD, and tell of all your wonderful deeds.
The benefits of a grateful heart remain endless. I read a quote the other day that profoundly challenges me as I move forward in this gratitude adventure. I’ve seen several authors offer the following question, “Is the gratitude that flows out of your life as abundant as the grace that flows into your life?” Friend, I’d have to say no, but it’s certainly a goal to set before me.
About Pam Kanaly
Aloha! I’m Pam Kanaly, President and co-founder of Arise Ministries. But actually, I think Arise found me wanting to bless single moms years ago. Ministry was never on my mind as a kid. All I wanted to be was a hula dancer. So Mother enrolled me in the tiny tots’ class. Guess God knew I’d have two grandbabies born in Hawaii. I love the great outdoors. You might even find me spending time with my husband grizzly bear watching or camping. In fact, it was on a turkey hunt that God gave me the name Arise Ministries in 2002. I suppose it’s a good thing that I majored in Grammar in college since I love to write words of encouragement to single moms.