By Andrew Palau,
Luis Palau Minstries
I’m taking a few classes at Multnomah Biblical Seminary, and a couple of weeks ago I had to take a personality type test. The assignment was meant to be a sort of “spiritual health check.” When I received the results, I was shocked to see that they categorized me as someone who struggles with gratitude. Me? Really?! I feel like I’m very grateful!
But after swallowing my pride, I realized there are many ways in which I can be critical and negative. I make snide remarks. I’m quick to think negative thoughts before positive ones.
The Bible tells us to give thanks to God and count our blessings. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Anybody can be critical. Our human inclination is to draw attention to what is wrong, but to express gratitude is from the Lord. And there’s a reason we are given this command.
As followers of Christ, demonstrating gratitude can be a very big part of spreading the Gospel to those around us. We are not just called to talk about Jesus with others, but to live out His message so that they see the difference He can make in a life. Truly grateful people stand out. They tend to take life’s small frustrations in stride and have a greater positive impact on those around them.
Along with my test results, I received a number of suggestions for cultivating a better sense of gratitude. One of them was to begin every day by thinking of one thing that I’m grateful for, reflect on it for a few minutes, and write down my thoughts. Taking the time to stop and recognize what God has done for me and my family has really changed my outlook. It helps to keep me from venting my frustrations to those around me- people who might need to be encouraged or might not know Jesus.
Gratitude is powerful stuff! Even if it makes you feel a little silly, try taking some time to reflect on the reasons you have to be grateful each day. Then, thank God for these things in prayer and share your gratitude with those around you.
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