Thanksgiving is here once again, and with it THE NUDGE TO BE THANKFUL. Here are three tips on developing an attitude of gratitude for the other 364 days of the year (with a BONUS on the history of America’s Thanksgiving at the end of this post).
1. CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE . . .
A grateful mindset won’t help you do all things in life – but it will absolutely help you do everything in life far better than a critical, judgmental, negative attitude. Don’t underestimate the negative impact that a poor attitude will have on your happiness, productivity, success and ability to enjoy God – and people. The alternative to an attitude of gratitude will undermine you – every single time. The Bible says “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Why? Because if you don’t, thoughts will take residence in your mind and heart that will undermine God’s best for you. When you miss God’s best, the rest is a slippery slope. Do not underestimate the power of an ungrateful life. It will hinder everything about you.
Life will kick the gratitude out of you IF YOU ARE NOT TENACIOUSLY INTENTIONAL . . .
2. BE TENACIOUS. BE INTENTIONAL . . .
An attitude of gratitude does not come automatically. It is developed with tenaciousintentionality.Yes, one’s upbringing definitely affects attitude – but each of us has a direct say in whether or not we want to develop our “gratitude reservoir” by either intentionally pouring into it or neglecting it. Why do you think the Bible commands us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)? Because being thankful is something most of us need to work on – until it becomes a positive habit. If being thankful were automatic, we wouldn’t be commanded to be thankful. Life will kick the gratitude out of you if you are not tenaciously intentional in developing and guarding it. Without intentionality, something else will take its place. If that happens, the next stage is for the bad attitude to wrap tentacles around everything in your life, choking off happiness, peace and so much more. Be intentional, tenacious and relentless in developing and guarding your attitude of gratitude. God knows our attitudes will be assaulted, which is why He tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances.”
AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE will help you do everything in life far better than a critical, judgmental, negative attitude . . .
3. STEER YOUR SHIP AND TRUST GOD WITH THE REST . . .
You have more control over what matters most than you realize. You can’t always change your circumstances, but you can almost always change your attitude amidst your circumstances. Right now, wherever you are and no matter what you’re facing, you have the choice to be or not to be, grateful – about something, someone. You alone pilot the ship of your own attitude. Don’t allow yourself to be robbed of the fruit gratitude will yield. When you trust God with the things you can’t change, and focus on what you can change – your attitude – everything about you will improve. An otherwise downward spiral stops. You have God’s Word on it. And when God gives His word, there’s always personal gain to pay attention and apply.