Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gratitude Attitude

by Donna L. Watkins

It's so easy to grumble about our daily circumstances. It can become a habit, especially when you attract others who love to grumble. That turns into being "pegged" as a negative person. It doesn't do your health any good either.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Early Morning Passion Flower
Everybody has bad circumstances going on in their lives in one way or another, and some more than most, but that doesn't mean we have to focus on and rehearse mentally and verbally all that's wrong.

Do you consider yourself a positive or negative person?

There is always a list of things to be grateful for. I read somewhere that Oprah always wrote down 5 things to be grateful for before going to bed each night. That's certainly a good way to get better sleep, but I think more importantly, you need to list 5 things to be grateful for when you get up in the morning because that's when we choose our mindset for the day.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Paul writes, "In everything give thanks for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

John MacArthur gives us some insight into this Scripture:

"Paul simply says very directly, "In everything give thanks." No exceptions, no excuses, nothing is outside those parameters, in everything give thanks. That little phrase enpante in the Greek means in connection with everything that occurs ... in connection with everything in life give thanks no matter what it might be, with obvious exceptions of personal sin. He is saying no matter what happens to you in life, be thankful. No matter lot, no matter what circumstance, no matter what struggle, vicissitude, trial, testing, be thankful, give thanks. No matter what the situation we are to find reason to thank God. This is not some nebulous thanks fired off into space, it is a thanks given directly to God."

God doesn't ask us to BE thankful, but does require that we GIVE thanks. In trusting Him to make all things good (Romans 8) and surrendering to His providential will brings forth the words of thanks regardless of our broken heart. In return, God fills us with peace and comfort and enough grace to endure through the situation.

Gratitude changes our attitude. It only takes a moment to turn your attitude around.

At a Women of Faith conference, they were short of space for 150 attendees and had to bring in chairs which weren't as wide or comfortable. Everybody had a seat, but it was cramped, so there was an unhappy buzz covering the auditorium. The director asked Joni Eareckson Tada to help calm the crowd.

A childhood accident left Joni a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair. She came onto the stage and said to the audience: "I understand some of you don't like the chair you're sitting in. Well, neither do I! But I've got a 1,000 handicapped friends who'd gladly trade places with you." Immediately the complaining stopped and the hall was quiet.

A spark of gratitude changed the attitude of the entire crowd. After all, Isn't Happiness A Choice?

Copyright and Reprint Information
All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins and may not be republished without written permission. You may forward or use this copyrighted article on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2000-2008 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, for more articles and free email subscription.
Link URL:

No comments:

Share This Post