Need an attitude adjustment? Try thankfulness
With Thanksgiving approaching, November is a month when many focus on giving thanks. Why should we take time to be thankful? I believe there are several reasons. The Bible tells us to be thankful. The number one reason because God said so. That alone is reason to be thankful all the time, however, there is another reason. Thankfulness is good for us and good for those around us! There is power that comes into our lives when we are thankful. Power to adjust our attitude, power to focus on the good and the goodness of God and power to overcome difficult circumstances.
As a little girl it would really make me mad when I would ask my dad why I needed to do something and his reply was, “because I said so.” Really what he meant to say was, “ because it is good for you.” I was one of those kids that wanted to understand things and I’m sure I annoyed my parents by asking why. I’m sure God sometimes wants to tell me, “because I said so or because it is good for you Kathleen.” After all, He is all knowing and our job is to trust him.
Psalm 100:4 encourages us to be thankful as it states, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” (NIV) Thankfulness opens our heart and gets brings our emotions and thinking into alignment. Think about it. How many people do you know that have said thank you with their arms folded? Not many...When we come to God with a thankful heart it opens us up to see all He has done for us that we might have missed. Thanksgiving makes God bigger than our problems or the things we face. It magnifies Him and His goodness.
Colossians 3:15 and 4:2 respectively state,“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (NIV)
I’ve seen the power of a thankful heart to change me personally. In my dark days of digging through grief, learning to live as a widow and caregiving for my ill, elderly parents, knowing their life span was short, it was easy to become weary and feel like life would always be painful. It was a difficult time, but God was also blessing me in some incredible ways. Realizing I needed to focus on the good in my life, I began to write down each evening something I was thankful for that day or had seen God do for me. In the beginning, I had to think about what to write but the more I looked for God’s goodness to me, the more I discovered. An attitude of gratitude began to change my heart and open my eyes.
No, I did not thank God that I was living alone, was lonely and had a lot of responsibility, but I could thank him for holding my hand, leading me and comforting me as I cried. I could thank him that I still had my parents in my life and they called me each day. As my list of things that blessed my life each day grew, I began to see my heart change. Even though my circumstances did not change, life seemed easier.
Thank you Father for holding my right hand through the mountains and valleys of my life
Thank you God for being my constant friend and being with me all the time
Thank you for never leaving my side and comforting my heart
Thank you for helping me to see things from your perspective and the adventures we’ve shared
Thank you for your constant amazing love that provides such security
Thank you for the confidence that I have developed from this journey
Thank you that confidence and peace are established in my life and I now give those to others
I challenge you to develop a heart of thankfulness by either writing what you appreciate each day, verbally thanking God throughout the day and writing your own psalm of thanksgiving. Do it because He said so and you will empower yourself. I would love to see the hills alive with a community with a thankful heart!
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a native to the Texas Hill Country, a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth and God’s love, You can reach her at email@example.com or visit her blog at www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com