We tend to think about our blessings a little more this time of year, over the Thanksgiving holiday and weekend. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all that we’re grateful for, after all. Here’s something from a book by Max Lucado I read recently that seems fitting for this Thanksgiving weekend, as we relax and enjoy time with family and friends.
Gratitude is a mindful awareness of the benefits of life. It is the greatest of virtues. Studies have linked the emotion with a variety of positive effects. Grateful people tend to be more empathetic and forgiving of others. People who keep a gratitude journal are more likely to have a positive outlook on life. Grateful individuals demonstrate less envy, materialism, and self-centeredness. Gratitude improves self-esteem and enhances relationships, quality of sleep, and longevity. If it came in pill form, gratitude would be deemed the miracle cure. It’s no wonder, then, that God’s anxiety therapy includes a large, delightful dollop of gratitude.
I received a review copy of this book; all opinions expressed are mine.
“Having a grateful heart has more power than we can imagine,” writes Joyce Meyer in the introduction of her new book, The Power of Thank You: Discover the Joy of Gratitude (FaithWords, hardcover). She adds, “Thankfulness releases joy in our lives, has a powerful effect on our prayers, and keeps us focused on the positive aspects of our lives.”
Meyer writes about how she practices being grateful in her own life: “This morning I thanked God that I could see, hear, think, talk, and walk. Just imagine how we would complain and how challenging our lives would be if we couldn’t do any of these, and yet we rarely thank God for the ability to do them.” She also points to the apostle Paul as an example of an extremely thankful person—how he had learned to be content whether he had little or much (Philippians 4:11). And Meyer includes additional examples of what true gratitude looks like from the lives of Job, Joseph and others in the Bible.