Every day we have a choice to be grateful. Not only should we be grateful for those around us, but we should also extend the same grace God gave us to others. Read more about 30 Things To Be Grateful For Today.
How To Be Grateful
I was given some great advice a few years ago was when I was complaining about something hurtful someone had done to me. The person I was talking with asked me to say something I was grateful for about the person who had wronged me. Wait, what?
Even though I was tempted by bitter thoughts, I adopted a new line of thought, gratitude. Instead of brooding over the grievance, I put my hope in the Lord because if he can extend mercy to others so must we.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13.
Go one step further than just being grateful for those who have wronged you in some way. Why not show gratitude for the people who fill you with love and joy every day?
I am not good at showing appreciation because I get caught up in focusing on what hasn’t been done for me instead of what has. For example, you have dishes piling up in the sink and your husband must have seen them, so you grumble to yourself “why didn’t he clean out the dishwasher and put away the ones in the sink?” Does anyone have a similar experience?
Turn that attitude of negativity into gratitude for him walking the dog in the morning, playing with the kids even when he’s exhausted from a stressful day, rushing out the door for a meeting for a job that pays the bills or whatever else he might do for the family. Instead of getting mad at him, tell him how much you love and appreciate all his hard work both at his job and at home.
Another example: my biggest pet peeve is the friend who is always late. I grew up in a family where being at least 5 minutes early is “on-time” and arriving at the agreed upon time is “late.” Instead of getting frustrated when someone is late, I now try to focus on being grateful for the couple extra minutes of alone time that I can use for things like self-reflection, taking a second to breathe and exhale the stresses of the day, or just pray and thank God for the friend I am about to meet with.
Example of Gratitude
I have two wonderful families, mine and my husband’s. They are one of my greatest sources of love and joy. However, I find that I can take my family for granted.
We live near both of our families and they generally end up planning get-togethers on the same days or weekends during holidays. Instead of being grateful for the opportunity to celebrate and hang out with both families, I allow myself to get stressed out about how long the day will be, how are we going to please everyone, and how much food I will end up eating.
Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27.
God has been trying to show me that I shouldn’t worry about how the day will pan out because that is time wasted. He reminds me to focus on the present and enjoy the time I have with family because time with them is precious.
If anything, being grateful for someone, whether you tell them or not, can relieve stress and make you an overall joyful person. Every day, we have the choice to create an attitude of gratitude. The Bible continuously reminds us how powerful a grateful heart can be in this world.