Where Antelope Roam


GML

Because so many that I send this to via email are unable to access a blog, I won’t post a GML here every week, however, I will from time to time.  Because this is Thanksgiving week, here’s my last GML.

 

Developing a “Gratitude Attitude”

 

2 Titus 3:1-2 

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

 

Have you ever found yourself thanking someone for something they did or something they gave you from the head… i.e. because you knew that was the polite thing to do but your heart wasn’t in it?   Oh, most of us would hate to have to admit it but I think we’ve all been there.   While I know that feelings follow actions, what if they don’t?     What does one do then?   Do you feel the hardness of a crust forming over your heart?

 

I work for a Christian doctor who constantly shows me the great lack of gratitude in my life.   He does not set out to purposely show me how ungrateful I am, rather he does it in showing his appreciation and gratitude for everything to everyone.   Now some would look at him and say that’s rather simple minded and childlike…. Yes!  That’s the idea!   I’ve watched this man over the course of years that I have known him because he has what I call a “gratitude attitude” and I want to know how to have one just like that!

 

Over the course of the last few devotionals, we’ve been talking about humility.   I believe humility and gratitude are sisters and walk hand in hand.   Humility recognizes God is in control and what He has done for us is enough.   It recognizes that everything He gives us is so much more than we deserve and it should produce gratitude in us.

 

So, what is gratitude and where does it start?   Genuine gratitude is an overflowing cup generated by a close love relationship with Jesus Christ. Gratitude starts at the Cross.  Gratitude starts in the heart just as faith does.    In fact, might I be so bold as to say that genuine faith should lead to genuine gratitude?   When we first realize our desperate natural situation – that of being a sinner without Christ and on our way to Hell – our gratitude will spring forth from our hearts when we realize the great sacrifice our Lord made for us on the Cross because…. He first loved us.  I John 4:19.

 

How do we build on that foundation of first love gratitude?  Or to put it another way, how do we keep from developing a crust of hardness toward life, our relationships and the gifts we have been given?

 

First, we must remember God’s holiness and give thanks for it.  Psalm 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.  If we would but daily remember we serve a holy God and it is because of Who He is that we even draw our breath each day, gratitude should well up in us.

 

Now, I’ve started making a list about what gratitude is, what it does and how it shows itself.  I made this list for myself to help me identify areas in my life that I need to work on and want to share it with you. See if any of these echo in your life.

 

1.  Gratitude does not focus on one’s own deficiencies of personality.   It focuses on the character of God, i.e., holiness, lovingkindness, faithfulness, etc.  (Psalm 92:2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,)

2.  Gratitude focuses on God’s abilities rather than our inabilities.  (Psalm 92:4-5  For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.  O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.)

3.  Gratitude does not consider what one does not have materially to be important but is appreciative of basic needs met. (1 Timothy 6:7-8   For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.)

4.  Gratitude does not compare one’s self with another (their abilities or material possessions) recognizing it as foolish. (2 Corinthians 10:12  For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.)

5.  Gratitude is an act of my will and it is God’s will that I do so.  (1 Thessalonians 5:18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.)

6.  Gratitude recognizes others’ God-given abilities and gifts and prays for them to use those gifts wisely.  (1 Thessalonians 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;)

7.  Gratitude remembers God’s work in one’s life and bows in awe!  ( Psalm 139:14   I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.)

8.  One more thing… Gratitude does not focus on the negative aspects of one’s life, i.e., what one does not have.   Gratitude focuses on the positives and what one does have!

 

So, let me ask … where’s our focus?   Do we have a heart that we’ve allowed ourselves to grow covering of hardness over the years?  Have we grown cold and callus toward the many gifts God Himself has given to us;  the gifts of family and friends; the gift of love, His and that of others?   Have we tried to protect our self against hurt and in so doing, forgotten to give thanks and praise to God for His bountiful blessings in our life?  

 

You know, my doctor has taught me many things about gratitude.   He often writes notes to people who’ve done something for him or given him something to thank them for their kindness and when he writes a note, he often reminds them and himself to consider their kindness a gift from the Lord.   Can I challenge you to find things to thank others for reminding yourself that it is a gift from the Lord?    Thank your spouse for his willingness to get up and go to work each day… thank your children when they’re faithful to do the things you’ve given them to do… thank your Pastor, your Sunday School teacher… thank anyone who comes to mind for something you know they’ve done for you.  Write them a note… no cheating… no e-mail.  Write a snail mail note.   They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness of them.   Start today in consciously developing a “gratitude attitude”.  It will change the way you look at life!…. Start now!  

 

Until Next Time,

Love & Prayers,

Molly

2 Thessalonians 2:13

 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:


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