Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Practicing Gratitude

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it consists of my two favorite past times: eating lots of food and watching football. However, I also enjoy Thanksgiving because literally the name itself reminds us to take time “to give thanks” for all our blessings. As Christians, “thanksgiving” should not be a once a year event. We always have much to celebrate and therefore should have hearts full of gratitude.

Gratitude is a way of life that characterizes God’s people. Gratitude means we remember who God is and what He has done for us. We live as a blessed people because we have been blessed. We pass on what we have received because when a person has good news you share it! Saint Augustine was right when he said that “a Christian should be an alleluia from head to foot!” Gratitude begins with a heart that is open and receptive to God’s grace. Then gratitude affects the way we see others and the world. We become more appreciative, more caring, and more compassionate. In response to all God has done, we live lives that give Him thanks and glory (also called worship).

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever. Amen.” –Ephesians 3:20-21

* a great book on this topic is "Radical Gratitude" by Mary Jo Leddy