Never underestimate the power of appreciation for what you’ve been given. The moment you begin to lose a sense of gratitude, your perspective on life will become distorted and your motives will become entangled in a web of selfishness.
The problem of ingratitude began with our first parents, Adam and Eve. We tend to think Satan tempted them to do something diabolical in the garden of Eden. But when we look at Genesis chapter three, we see a different scenario.
The devil took a subtle approach to introduce sin to the world: he undermined Adam and Eve’s confidence in the character of God by tempting them to be ungrateful for all they’d been given and to plant seeds of doubt about God’s goodness.
And it worked.
In one conversation, the fate of the world changed. Adam and Eve forgot what God had given them – life and breath, a world filled with mind-blowing beauty, and most importantly, free access to Him in a loving relationship. Instead, they allowed ingratitude to seep into their hearts. They allowed doubt to fuel fear and selfish desires to choke out a spirit of worship.
Gratitude is a spiritual measuring stick. It’s a sign of an individual whose heart is tethered to God and whose perspectives are rightly ordered. Gratitude creates a Philippians 4:8 perspective that looks for the true, the noble, the right, the pure, the lovely, the admirable, and the excellent.
When you experience a sense of gratitude, it means that you have been thinking about the good stuff in your life, such as your family, friends, health, and recent accomplishments. When you feel ungrateful, it does not necessarily mean that you are missing something essential. What it does mean is that you’ve recently been thinking too much about what you don’t have and too little about what you do have.
Appreciating our blessings doesn’t always come easily. Gratitude isn’t just a state of mind; it’s also a skill and discipline to be practiced, especially when we don’t feel like it. Gratitude is like a mental gearshift that takes us from discouragement to enthusiasm, from anxiety to inner peace.
The more you appreciate today, the more things you will notice tomorrow to be grateful for. On the flip side, the less appreciative you are today, the fewer blessings you will perceive tomorrow. The Greek philosopher Epictetus said, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not but rejoices for those which he has.”
The power of gratitude is undeniably immense. As you learn to appreciate what you have, (and what you’re glad you don’t have), thanksgiving becomes a natural expression of your life.
Make everyday Thanksgiving Day!